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mountebank Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun a flamboyant deceiver; one who attracts customers with tricks or jokes

Mount"e*bank noun
It. montimbanco, montambanco; montare to mount + in in, upon + banco bench. See Mount, and 4th Bank.
  1. One who mounts a bench or stage in the market or other public place, boasts of his skill in curing diseases, and vends medicines which he pretends are infalliable remedies; a quack doctor.
    Such is the weakness and easy credulity of men, that a mountebank ... is preferred before an able physician. Whitlock.
  2. Any boastful or false pretender; a charlatan; a quack.
    Nothing so impossible in nature but mountebanks will undertake. Arbuthnot.
Mount"e*bank transitive verb
  1. To cheat by boasting and false pretenses; to gull. R. Shak.
Mount"e*bank intransitive verb
  1. To play the mountebank.

Webster 1913