- Historical a person who mounted a bench, or platform, in a public place and sold quack medicines, usually attracting an audience by tricks, stories, etc.
- any charlatan, or quack
Origin of mountebankItalian montambanco from montare, mount + in, on + banco, a bench: see bank
to act as a mountebank
- A hawker of quack medicines who attracts customers with stories, jokes, or tricks.
- A flamboyant charlatan.
Origin of mountebankItalian 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 mount 1. ) in on, onto ( from Latin; see in- 2. ) banco bench ( variant of banca ) ( from Old Italian bench, table ) ( from Old High German bank )
(third-person singular simple present mountebanks, present participle mountebanking, simple past and past participle mountebanked)
- (intransitive) To act as a mountebank.
- To cheat by boasting and false pretenses.
- Chide me no more. I'll mountebank their loves,Cog their hearts from them, and come home beloved - Coriolanus, Wm. Shakespeare