monkey business

frivolous or mischievous behavior.
improper or underhanded conduct; trickery.

1880–85, Americanism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
monkey business
informal mischievous, suspect, dishonest, or meddlesome behaviour or acts

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Slang Dictionary

monkey business definition

and funny business
  1. n.
    silliness; dishonest tricks. : That's enough monkey business. Now, settle down. , Stop the funny business and get to work!
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

monkey business

Silly, mischievous, or deceitful conduct, as in The teacher told the children to cut out the monkey business and get to work, or I don't trust that lawyerthere's some monkey business going on. This expression transfers the tricks of monkeys to human behavior. [Late 1800s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
Although the monkeys are clever, the peddler finally outsmarts them in monkey business.
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