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monkey jacket

a short, close-fitting jacket or coat, formerly worn by sailors.
Origin of monkey jacket
1820-30; so called from its resemblance to a jacket worn by an organ-grinder's monkey Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for monkey-jacket
Historical Examples
  • Soon a monkey-jacket mounted the side, and was beset by the captain and cabin people for news.

    Redburn. His First Voyage Herman Melville
  • The fellow took a firm grip of my monkey-jacket, and I made for the door.

  • Pete was still in his stocking cap and Wellington boots, but he had a monkey-jacket over his blue guernsey.

    The Manxman Hall Caine
  • Having laid himself on his bunk, Farnborough drew an envelope from the inside breast-coat pocket of his monkey-jacket.

  • Underneath his great-coat he wore his monkey-jacket, three sweaters, and a muffler.

  • "I shall be quite willing, I am sure," said the man in the monkey-jacket with imperturbable effrontery.

    Campaigns of a Non-Combatant, George Alfred Townsend
British Dictionary definitions for monkey-jacket

monkey jacket

a short close-fitting jacket, esp a waist-length jacket similar to a mess jacket
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Slang definitions & phrases for monkey-jacket

monkey jacket

noun phrase

  1. Any tight, short jacket, esp one that is part of a uniform (1830+)
  2. A medical patient's gown (1970s+ Medical)

[fr the fact that monkey was a nautical term for anything small, in this case a short, informal jacket as distinct from a formal frock coat; monkey jackets are also the traditional garb of an organ grinder's monkey]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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