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90s Slang You Should Know


[shahr-luh-tn] /ˈʃɑr lə tn/
a person who pretends or claims to have more knowledge or skill than he or she possesses; quack.
Origin of charlatan
1595-1605; < Middle French < Italian ciarlatano, equivalent to ciarla(tore) chatterer (derivative of ciarlare to chatter; from imitative root) + (cerre)tano hawker, quack, literally, native of Cerreto, a village in Umbria, known for its quacks
Related forms
[shahr-luh-tan-ik] /ˌʃɑr ləˈtæn ɪk/ (Show IPA),
charlatanical, charlatanish, charlatanistic, adjective
charlatanically, adverb
impostor, mountebank, fraud, fake, phony. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for charlatan


someone who professes knowledge or expertise, esp in medicine, that he or she does not have; quack
Derived Forms
charlatanism, charlatanry, noun
charlatanistic, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from French, from Italian ciarlatano, from ciarlare to chatter
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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charlatan in Medicine

charlatan char·la·tan (shär'lə-tən)
A person fraudulently claiming knowledge and skills not possessed.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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