Definition of monkey trial in English:

monkey trial

Pronunciation /ˈmʌŋkɪ ˌtrʌɪəl/


historical, figurative
  • A trial of a teacher for teaching evolutionary theories contrary to the laws of certain states of the United States, specifically that of J. T. Scopes in Tennessee in 1925.


1920s; earliest use found in The Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune. From monkey + trial, so called on account of the controversy surrounding the suggestion that humans are related to other primates.