Definition of mountebank in English:

mountebank

Syllabification: moun·te·bank
Pronunciation: /ˈmountiˌbaNGk
 
/

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.

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.

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).

More definitions of mountebank

Definition of mountebank in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day astrogation
Pronunciation: ˌastrəˈgāSHən
noun
(in science fiction) navigation in outer space