monkey around with something
monkey around with (someone or something)
1. To tinker or fiddle with something. Hey, don't monkey around with the thermostat—it needs to stay at 68 degrees. Grandpa's still monkeying around with that old radio, but I doubt he'll get it to work again.
2. To test or experiment with something in order to learn more around it. I'm monkeying around with a different platform for my blog, and I can't decide if I like it or not. The software has a whole suite of tools an artist like me will love monkeying around with. The film is about a young alchemist monkeying around with dark arts that man was never meant to control.
3. To engage in aimless recreation or frivolous time-wasting with someone or something; to fool around with someone or something. Quit monkeying around with the dog and work on your book report already, Scotty! Colin, stop monkeying around with your younger brother and come inside for your dinner.
4. To waste someone's time, often by being evasive, indirect, or misleading. Never monkey around with your client when you're promising them a particular deadline—if you don't think you'll have something done by a certain time, be sure to tell them upfront. Don't monkey around with my, Doc—is she going to pull through or not?