Definition of mountebank in English:

mountebank

Syllabification: moun·te·bank
Pronunciation: /ˈmoun(t)əˌbaNGk
 
/

noun

1A person who deceives others, especially in order to trick them out of their money; a charlatan.
More example sentences
  • He has been described as a ‘a mountebank, a charlatan and a scribbler’ by one author, although others see him as a proto-social scientist.
  • He was, in fact, a charlatan, a mountebank, a zany without any shame or dignity.
  • Epithets of ‘statesman’ were thrown around, but charlatan or mountebank might have been more appropriate.
Synonyms
1.1 historical A person who sold patent medicines in public places.
More example sentences
  • Additional evidence indicates that it was a term used among medical mountebanks in Tudor times.
  • The word toady comes from ‘toad-eater’: a quack's or mountebank's assistant who would eat, or pretend to eat, a toad so he could be cured by the medicine man.
  • There had always been mountebanks and charlatans operating in the public squares, but they now dominated the marketplace.

Origin

late 16th century: from Italian montambanco, from the imperative phrase monta in banco! 'climb on the bench!' (with allusion to the raised platform used to attract an audience).

Derivatives

mountebankery

Pronunciation: /-ˌbaNGkərē/
noun
More example sentences
  • So some two decades later he set out to transform the securities industry with a report that he hoped would expose its mountebankery and lead to a miraculous transformation.
  • There was one explanation as to why he was able to pass off mountebankery as art for so long; the myth of impressionism.
  • This is not a business where mountebankery is to be encouraged.

Definition of mountebank in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day jaunty
Pronunciation: ˈdʒɔːnti
adjective
having a lively, cheerful, and self-confident manner...