mountebank (n.) "a doctor that mounts a bench in the market, and boasts his infallible remedies and cures" [Johnson], 1570s, from It. montambanco, contraction of monta in banco "quack, juggler," lit. "mount on bench" (to be seen by crowd), from monta, imperative of montare "to mount" (see MOUNT (Cf. mount) (v.)) + banco, variant of banca "bench" (see BANK (Cf. bank) (n.2)). Figurative and extended senses from 1580s.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mountebank — Mount e*bank, v. i. To play the mountebank. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Mountebank — Mount e*bank, n. [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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • mountebank — [mount′ə baŋk΄] n. [It montambanco < montare,MOUNT2 + in, on + banco, a bench: see BANK1] 1. Archaic a person who mounted a bench, or platform, in a public place and sold quack medicines, usually attracting an audience by tricks, stories, etc …   English World dictionary

  • Mountebank — Mount e*bank, v. t. To cheat by boasting and false pretenses; to gull. [R.] Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Mountebank — may refer to: Charlatan, a swindler Monte Bank, a card game Three card Monte, a confidence game The Mountebanks, a comic opera by Alfred Cellier and W. S. Gilbert This disambiguation page lists articles associated with the same title. If an …   Wikipedia

  • mountebank — n *impostor, faker, charlatan, quack …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • mountebank — [n] charlatan cheat, con man/woman*, grifter, imposter, rip off artist*, swindler; concept 412 …   New thesaurus

  • mountebank — ► NOUN ▪ a swindler. ORIGIN originally meaning a person who sold patent medicines in public places : from Italian monta in banco! climb on the bench! , with allusion to the raised platform used by mountebanks to attract an audience …   English terms dictionary

  • mountebank — 1. noun /ˈmaʊntəˌbæŋk/ a) One who sells dubious medicines There is nothing so impossible in Nature but mountebanks will undertake; nothing so incredible but they will affirm. John Bull b) One who sells by deception; a con artist; a charlatan.… …   Wiktionary

  • mountebank — I. noun Etymology: Italian montimbanco, from montare to mount + in in, on + banco, banca bench Date: 1577 1. a person who sells quack medicines from a platform 2. a boastful unscrupulous pretender ; charlatan • mountebankery noun II …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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