The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Monkey \Mon"key\, n.; pl. Monkeys. [Cf. OIt. monicchio, It.
monnino, dim. of monna an ape, also dame, mistress, contr.
fr. madonna. See Madonna.]
(a) In the most general sense, any one of the Quadrumana,
including apes, baboons, and lemurs.
(b) Any species of Quadrumana, except the lemurs.
(c) Any one of numerous species of Quadrumana (esp. such
as have a long tail and prehensile feet) exclusive of
apes and baboons.
Note: The monkeys are often divided into three groups: (a)
Catarrhines, or Simidae. These have an oblong head,
with the oblique flat nostrils near together. Some have
no tail, as the apes. All these are natives of the Old
World. (b) Platyrhines, or Cebidae. These have a
round head, with a broad nasal septum, so that the
nostrils are wide apart and directed downward. The tail
is often prehensile, and the thumb is short and not
opposable. These are natives of the New World. (c)
Strepsorhines, or Lemuroidea. These have a pointed
head with curved nostrils. They are natives of Southern
Asia, Africa, and Madagascar.
2. A term of disapproval, ridicule, or contempt, as for a
This is the monkey's own giving out; she is
persuaded I will marry her. --Shak.
3. The weight or hammer of a pile driver, that is, a very
heavy mass of iron, which, being raised on high, falls on
the head of the pile, and drives it into the earth; the
falling weight of a drop hammer used in forging.
4. A small trading vessel of the sixteenth century.
Monkey boat. (Naut.)
(a) A small boat used in docks.
(b) A half-decked boat used on the River Thames.
Monkey block (Naut.), a small single block strapped with a
swivel. --R. H. Dana, Jr.
Monkey flower (Bot.), a plant of the genus Mimulus; -- so
called from the appearance of its gaping corolla. --Gray.
Monkey gaff (Naut.), a light gaff attached to the topmast
for the better display of signals at sea.
Monkey jacket, a short closely fitting jacket, worn by
Monkey rail (Naut.), a second and lighter rail raised about
six inches above the quarter rail of a ship.
Monkey shine, monkey trick. [Slang, U.S.]
Monkey trick, a mischievous prank. --Saintsbury.
Monkey wheel. See Gin block, under 5th Gin.