Definition of mountebank in English:

mountebank

Line breaks: moun¦te|bank
Pronunciation: /ˈmaʊntɪbaŋk
 
/

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
swindler, charlatan, confidence trickster, confidence man, fraud, fraudster, impostor, trickster, racketeer, hoaxer, sharper, quack, rogue, villain, scoundrel
informal conman, shark, flimflammer, sharp
British informal twister
North American informal grifter, bunco artist, chiseller
Australian informal shicer, magsman, illywhacker
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

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:

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