from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of several tropical American monkeys of the genus Ateles, having long arms and legs and a long prehensile tail and lacking a thumb.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A tropical American platyrrhine monkey, of the family Cebidæ, subfamily Cebinæ, and genera Ateles and Brachyteles; a kind of sajou or sapajou, likened to a spider by reason of the very long and slim limbs, and long prehensile tail.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Any New World monkey of the genus Ateles, with long, spindly limbs.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun arboreal monkey of tropical America with long slender legs and long prehensile tail


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  • "I had a professor that had a spider monkey when he lived on the beach.

    His story was that he went to the store and bought a couple women's bathing suit tops. He left them around the house and started placing peanuts on top of them. After the monkey got used to that, he started leaving the peanuts underneath the tops. Eventually, he progressed to strapping the tops around chairs or around himself with peanuts stuffed in the cups.

    Eventually, they got the monkey to the point where he thought all bathing suit tops contained peanuts, and started taking him out on the beach. Of course, all the girls want to pet the monkey and play with him, and as soon as they'd get him into their arms... he'd tear their bathing suit top off, looking for peanuts.

    Honestly, I can't really think of a lot of better uses for an animal."

    - web, anon., Mar 2007.

    December 23, 2007