- 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
Synonyms for mountebankSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for mountebank
Historical Examples of 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 for 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.