- The definition of a charlatan is a fraud or a person who pretends to have some skill or be something he isn't.
An example of a charlatan is someone who pretends to be able to tell the future.
Origin of charlatanFrench ; from Italian ciarlatano, a quack ; from cerretano, one who cries out in the market place ; from Vulgar Latin cerretanus, seller of papal indulgences at Cerreto, town in Italy: influenced, influence by Italian ciarlare, to prate
Origin of charlatanFrench, from Italian ciarlatano, probably alteration (influenced by ciarlare, to prattle) of cerretano, inhabitant of Cerreto, a city of Italy once famous for its quacks.
- char′la·tan′ic , char′la·tan′i·cal
- char′la·tan·ism, char′la·tan·ry
From Middle French charlatan, from Old Italian ciarlatano (“quack”), a blend of ciarlatore (“a chatterer”) and cerretano (“a hawker, quack”), literally, a native of Cerreto, a village in Umbria, known for its quacks.