- a person who sells quack medicines, as from a platform in public places, attracting and influencing an audience by tricks, storytelling, etc.
- any charlatan or quack.
- to act or operate as a mountebank.
Origin of mountebank
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for mountebank
It was not of the least use to me that I knew he was not the illustrious general, but simply a mountebank.A Day's Ride
Charles James Lever
If I were a mountebank or a charlatan I would claim that it cures a hundred diseases.The Gypsies
Charles G. Leland
As a mountebank, a juggler, a quack doctor—I spurned the very idea.Japhet in Search of a Father
Anything less would condemn a man as a fool or a mountebank.The Message
Alec John Dawson
But his natural gift was to be a mountebank, a clown, a circus Hercules.Casa Braccio, Volumes 1 and 2 (of 2)
F. Marion Crawford
- (formerly) a person who sold quack medicines in public places
- a charlatan; fake
- (intr) to play the mountebank
Word Origin and History for mountebank
"a doctor that mounts a bench in the market, and boasts his infallible remedies and cures" [Johnson], 1570s, from Italian montambanco, contraction of monta in banco "quack, juggler," literally "mount on bench" (to be seen by crowd), from monta, imperative of montare "to mount" (see mount (v.)) + banco, variant of banca "bench" (see bank (n.2)). Figurative and extended senses from 1580s.