monkey business

noun
1.
frivolous or mischievous behavior.
2.
improper or underhanded conduct; trickery.

Origin:
1880–85, Americanism

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
monkey business
 
n
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
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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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