any of a large and varied group of mammals of the primate
order. The term monkey
includes all primates that do not belong to the categories human, ape, or prosimian; however, monkeys do have certain common features. All are excellent climbers, and most are primarily arboreal. Nearly all live in tropical or subtropical climates. Unlike most of the prosimians, or lower primates, they are almost all day-active animals. Their faces are usually flat and rather human in appearance, their eyes point forward, and they have stereoscopic color vision. Their hands and feet are highly developed for grasping; the big toes and, where present, the thumbs are opposable. Nearly all have flat nails. Monkeys habitually sit in an erect posture. Unlike the apes, most cannot swing arm-over-arm (the spider monkey is an exception) but move about in trees by running along the branches on all fours; their skeletal structure is similar to that of other four-footed animals. Monkeys live in troops of up to several hundred individuals and travel about in search of food, having no permanent shelter. As in apes and humans, the female has a monthly reproductive cycle, and mating may occur at any time, but in some species mating is seasonal. Usually only one infant is born at a time; it is cared for by the mother for a long period. There are two large groups, or superfamilies, of monkeys: Old World monkeys (Cercopithecoidea) and New World monkeys (Ceboidea).
Old World Monkeys
The Old World monkeys are found in S Asia, with a few species as far N as Japan and N China, and in all of Africa except the deserts. Most are arboreal, but a few, such as baboons and some macaque species, are ground dwellers. Some Old World monkeys lack tails; when a tail is present it may be long or short but is never prehensile (grasping). The nostrils are close together and tend to point downward. Many species have cheek pouches for holding food, and many have thick pads (called ischial callosities), on the buttocks. Their gestation period is five to nine months. Adult Old World monkeys have 32 teeth. The Old World monkeys, sometimes called true monkeys, are more closely related to the apes and humans than they are to the New World monkeys; the two monkey groups probably evolved separately from ancestral primates.
The Old World monkeys include the many species of macaque, widely distributed throughout Africa and Asia. The rhesus monkey, commonly used in laboratory experiments, is an Asian macaque. Related to the macaques are the baboons of Africa and SW Asia, as well as the mandrill and mangabey of Africa. The guerezas, or colobus monkeys (genus Colobus), are very large, long-tailed, leaf-eating African monkeys. Their Asian relatives, the langurs and leaf monkeys, include the sacred monkeys of India. The snub-nosed monkey of China and the proboscis monkey of Borneo are langurlike monkeys with peculiar snouts. The guenons (Cercopithecus) are a large group of long-legged, long-tailed, omnivorous monkeys found throughout sub-Saharan Africa. One very widespread guenon species is the green monkey, or vervet, with olive-brown fur.
New World Monkeys
The New World monkeys are found from S Mexico to central South America, except in the high mountains, and are classified into two families (Callatrichids and Cebids). The Callatrichids are very small, while the Cebids are similar in size to the Old World monkeys. They are all thoroughly arboreal and most have long, prehensile tails with which they can manipulate objects and hang from branches. In most the thumb is lacking. They have widely separated nostrils that tend to point outward; they lack cheek pouches and ischial callosities. Their gestation period is four to five months. Adults of most New World species have 36 teeth.
The New World monkeys include the marmosets and tamarins, small monkeys with claws that are classified in a family of their own, the Callithricidae. The rest of the New World monkeys are classified in the family Cebidae. They include the capuchin (genus Cebus), commonly seen in captivity, which has a partially prehensile tail. Prehensile tails are found in the spider monkey and woolly monkey as well as in the howler monkey, the largest member of the family, which has a voice that carries several miles. Smaller forms with nonprehensile tails are the squirrel monkey and titi, the nocturnal douroucouli, or owl monkey, the saki, and the ouakari.
Monkeys are classified in the phylum Chordata
, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Primates, superfamilies Cercopithecoidea and Ceboidea.
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Monkey (religion, spiritualism, and occult)
The monkey is one of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac. It refers to one of the 12 earthly branches that are used in Chinese astrology, together with the 10 heavenly stems. Such a branch designates one day every 12 days: the days are named according to a sexagesimal (60) cycle, made of 10 series of 12 branches.
The monkey is often a hilarious live wire even if he is sometimes subject to depression. Energetic (frenetic even), opportunistic, but unpredictable, crafty, inventive and clever, he is not adaptable to routine work. He loves to make an exhibition of himself, and finds losing or being contradicted hard to take.
The Astrology Book, Second Edition © 2003 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
What does it mean when you dream about a monkey?
We typically think about monkeys as foolish, humorous and curious. Dream monkeys can represent any of these qualities. The also might be alluding to the meanings of such common idioms as to “monkey around,” “monkey business.” or to “make a monkey” out of someone.
The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
An appliance for mechanically gripping or releasing the rope in rope haulage.
An airway in an anthracite mine.
Any of several species of frugivorous and carnivorous primates which compose the families Cercopithecidae and Cebidae in the suborder Anthropoidea; the face is typically flattened and hairless, all species are pentadactyl, and the mammary glands are always in the pectoral region.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
known to copy human actions. [Western Cult.: Misc.]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
any of numerous long-tailed primates excluding the prosimians (lemurs, tarsiers, etc.): comprise the families Cercopithecidae
(see Old World monkey
(see New World monkey
), and Callithricidae
2. any primate except man
3. the head of a pile-driver (monkey engine) or of some similar mechanical device
4. Nautical denoting a small light structure or piece of equipment contrived to suit an immediate purpose
5. Slang (esp in bookmaking) ?500
6. US and Canadian slang $500
7. Austral slang., archaic a sheep
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The monkey is a symbol that needs to be understood by considering the various associations that we make when thinking about them. Monkeys may represent lust, selfsatisfaction, and trickery. A monkey may also represent positive attributes, such as agility, inspiration, a sense of freedom, and a capacity to imitate. In Japan, toys that look like monkeys are given to children because monkeys are supposed to be able to drive out evil spirits. In India, the monkey is a symbol of soul. Thus, monkeys as symbols appear to have a twin meaning. Whether positive or negative, the monkey is revealing something to you about what is going on in your inner world. People usually think that monkeys are far less evolved and the expression “stop monkeying around” is understood by all. The dream with a monkey may be an encouragement from you unconscious to continue to develop your personality by staying close to your own nature.
Bedside Dream Dictionary by Silvana Amar Copyright © 2007 by Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.