Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English


English definition of “hanky-panky”


noun [U]     /ˌhæŋ.kɪˈpæŋ.ki/ old-fashioned informal
unacceptable or dishonest behaviour , especially involving sexual activity or money : There was a bit of hanky-panky going on at the Christmas party .Sexual activity in generalPhysical and sexual assault and abductionMorally wrong and evilDishonest
(Definition of hanky-panky noun from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of hanky-panky

Definitions of “hanky-panky” in other dictionaries

Translations of “hanky-panky”

Word of the Day


to pour liquid slowly over something, especially in a thin line or in small drops

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More