• synonyms


  1. a peddler, especially of inferior articles.
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  1. of or suitable for a cheap-jack; cheap or inferior.
  2. without scruples or principles; underhanded: using cheap-jack methods to evict tenants.
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Also cheap·jack, cheap-john [cheep-jon] /ˈtʃipˌdʒɒn/.

Origin of cheap-jack

First recorded in 1850–55
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cheap-jack

Historical Examples

  • Next to the Magna Charta brethren a cheap-jack had placed his cart.

    All Sorts and Conditions of Men

    Walter Besant

  • Or carrying a cheap-jack Bradford agent to make a dicker in wool?

    A Case in Camera

    Oliver Onions

  • Soon the voice of the cheap-Jack was heard mingling with the others on shore.

  • As for the cheap-Jack fellows, let our master make 'em pay toll.

  • It was the usual thing, mocking blasphemy delivered in the voice of a cheap-jack, with a flavour of the clown.

    A Lost Cause

    Cyril Arthur Edward Ranger Gull

British Dictionary definitions for cheap-jack


  1. a person who sells cheap and shoddy goods
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  1. shoddy or inferior
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Word Origin

C19: from cheap + Jack (name used to typify a person)
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