from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A hawker of quack medicines who attracts customers with stories, jokes, or tricks.
- n. A flamboyant charlatan.
- intransitive v. To act as a mountebank.
- transitive v. Archaic To ensnare or prevail over with trickery.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. One who sells dubious medicines.
- n. One who sells by deception; a con artist; a charlatan.
- v. To act as a mountebank.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. 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 infallible remedies; a quack doctor.
- n. Any boastful or false pretender; a charlatan; a quack.
- transitive v. To cheat by boasting and false pretenses; to gull.
- intransitive v. To play the mountebank.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A peripatetic quack; one who prescribes and sells nostrums at fairs and similar gatherings.
- n. Hence Any impudent and unscrupulous pretender; a charlatan.
- n. The short-tailed African kite, Helotarsus ecaudatus: so called from its aërial tumbling.
- Pertaining to or consisting of mountebanks; sham; quack: as, a mountebank doctor.
- Produced by quackery or jugglery.
- To cheat by unscrupulous and impudent arts; gull.
- To introduce or insinuate by delusive arts or pretensions.
- To play the mountebank: with indefinite it.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a flamboyant deceiver; one who attracts customers with tricks or jokes
Italian montambanco, from the phrase monta im banco, one gets up onto the bench : monta, one gets up, third person sing. present tense of montare, to get up (from Vulgar Latin *montāre; see mount1) + in, on, onto (from Latin; see in-2) + banco, bench (variant of banca, from Old Italian, bench, table, from Old High German bank).(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Italian montambanco ("quack who mounts a bench to hawk his wares") contracted from Italian monta-in-banco ("mount on bench"). (Wiktionary)