A person who mounted a bench, or platform, in a public place and sold quack medicines, usually attracting an audience by tricks, stories, etc.
A hawker of quack medicines who attracts customers with stories, jokes, or tricks.
A flamboyant charlatan.
Any charlatan, or quack.
To act as a mountebank.
(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.
Origin of mountebank
- 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 mount1) in on, onto (from Latin in–2) banco bench (variant of banca) (from Old Italian bench, table) (from Old High German bank)
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition