noun Slang.

a person who operates a side show at a circus, fair, etc., especially a gambling attraction.
a swindler, dishonest gambler, or the like.

Origin of grifter

First recorded in 1910–15; grift + -er1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for grifter

fraud, scammer

Examples from the Web for grifter

Contemporary Examples of grifter

Word Origin and History for grifter

"confidence trickster," 1906, carnival and circus slang, probably an alteration of grafter (see graft (n.2); also cf. grift). Gradually extended to "any non-violent criminal."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper