- a person who pretends or claims to have more knowledge or skill than he or she possesses; quack.
Origin of charlatan
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for charlatan
Read a cautionary tale about the seductive and dangerous power of a charlatan sociopath, featuring goats and the American Dream.The Strange, True Tale of the Old-Timey Goat Testicle-Implanting 'Governor'
September 16, 2014
Charlatan is an unfair word,” Kennedy opined, but “he did an awful lot for effect.Jackie O’s Dark Side
September 13, 2011
And the gratitude I get is this charlatan chose not to do his job, which is to write.Charlie Sheen's 10 Worst Quotes, from Anti-Semitism to Alcoholism
The Daily Beast
February 25, 2011
In our shock at the way things have turned out, we wonder if there is anyone left in charge who's not a charlatan or a fool.Laughter in the Dark
February 2, 2009
Surely nobody would be a charlatan who could afford to be sincere.Essays, Second Series
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Hugh could not help thinking there was more or less of the charlatan about the man.David Elginbrod
If I were a mountebank or a charlatan I would claim that it cures a hundred diseases.The Gypsies
Charles G. Leland
The charlatan, however, steadily refused the Bishop's advice.The Minister of Evil
William Le Queux
Where is the difference, after all, between you and any charlatan of the lot?Robert Elsmere
Mrs. Humphry Ward
- someone who professes knowledge or expertise, esp in medicine, that he or she does not have; quack
Word Origin and History for charlatan
1610s, from French charlatan "mountebank, babbler" (16c.), from Italian ciarlatano "a quack," from ciarlare "to prate, babble," from ciarla "chat, prattle," perhaps imitative of ducks' quacking. Related: Charlatanism; charlatanical; charlatanry.
- A person fraudulently claiming knowledge and skills not possessed.