- a fraudulent or ignorant pretender to medical skill.
- a person who pretends, professionally or publicly, to skill, knowledge, or qualifications he or she does not possess; a charlatan.
- being a quack: a quack psychologist who complicates everyone's problems.
- presented falsely as having curative powers: quack medicine.
- of, relating to, or befitting a quack or quackery: quack methods.
- to treat in the manner of a quack.
- to advertise or sell with fraudulent claims.
Origin of quack2
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for quackish
Religion and philosophy have been impudent and quackish—quackish!Marriage
H. G. Wells
Quackish absurdities of so glaring a nature have, however, long been scorned in civilized society.A Treatise on Sheep:
And yet to the quackish lecturer it is the key to unlock all his scientific treasures.
Finally, we love De Quincey for his abhorrence of all knavish or quackish men, and his deep respect for human nature.
- (of a duck) to utter a harsh guttural sound
- to make a noise like a duck
- the harsh guttural sound made by a duck
- an unqualified person who claims medical knowledge or other skills
- (as modifier)a quack doctor
- British, Australian and NZ informal a doctor; physician or surgeon
- (intr) to act in the manner of a quack
Word Origin and History for quackish
"to make a duck sound," 1610s, earlier quake (1520s), variant of quelke (early 14c.), of echoic origin (cf. Middle Dutch quacken, Old Church Slavonic kvakati, Latin coaxare "to croak," Greek koax "the croaking of frogs," Hittite akuwakuwash "frog"). Middle English on the quakke (14c.) meant "hoarse, croaking." Related: Quacked; quacking.
"medical charlatan," 1630s, short for quacksalver (1570s), from obsolete Dutch quacksalver (modern kwakzalver), literally "hawker of salve," from Middle Dutch quacken "to brag, boast," literally "to croak" (see quack (v.)) + salf "salve," salven "to rub with ointment" (see salve (v.)). As an adjective from 1650s. The oldest attested form of the word in this sense in English is as a verb, "to play the quack" (1620s). The Dutch word also is the source of German Quacksalber, Danish kvaksalver, Swedish kvacksalvare.
duck sound, 1839, from quack (v.).
- An untrained person who pretends to be a physician and dispenses medical advice and treatment.
- A charlatan.