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Word of the Day
Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Definitions for mountebank

  1. any charlatan or quack.
  2. a person who sells quack medicines, as from a platform in public places, attracting and influencing an audience by tricks, storytelling, etc.
  3. to act or operate as a mountebank.

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Citations for mountebank
So you restored the money to the widow, publicly, of course, because you love playing to the gallery and ranting and posing, like the mountebank that you are. Maurice Leblanc, The Confessions of Arsène Lupin, translated by Alexander Teixeira de Mattos, 1912
The man was a mountebank, nothing more, Stephen had decided, and his strange power was simply the reaction of mob hysteria to the stage tricks of the political clown. Ellen Glasgow, One Man in His Time, 1922
Origin of mountebank
Mountebank can be traced to the Italian term montimbanco meaning "one who climbs on a bench" in reference to the raised platforms employed by travelling salesmen to stand out in a crowd. It entered English in the mid-1500s.