monkey around with (something)

phrasal verb
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of monkey around with (something)

informal
1 : to use or do (something) in a way that is not very serious
  • He enjoys monkeying around with his car's engine.
2 : to handle or play with (something) in a careless or foolish way
  • You shouldn't be monkeying around with dangerous chemicals.

Word by Word Definitions

monkey play
  1. : a nonhuman primate mammal with the exception usually of the lemurs and tarsiers

  2. : a person resembling a monkey

  3. : a ludicrous figure : dupe

  1. : mimic, mock

  2. : to act in a grotesque or mischievous manner

  3. : fool, trifle

around play
  1. : in a circle or in circumference

  2. : in, along, or through a circuit

  3. : on all or various sides : in every or any direction

  1. : on all sides of

  2. : so as to encircle or enclose

  3. : so as to avoid or get past : on or to another side of

  1. : about

  2. : being in existence, evidence, or circulation

something play
  1. : some indeterminate or unspecified thing

  2. : some indeterminate amount more than a specified number

  3. : a person or thing of consequence

  1. : in some degree : somewhat

  2. used as an intensive giving adverbial force to an adjective


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