[moun-tuh-bangk] /ˈmaʊn təˌbæŋk/

a person who sells quack medicines, as from a platform in public places, attracting and influencing an audience by tricks, storytelling, etc.
any charlatan or quack.
verb (used without object)
to act or operate as a mountebank.
(formerly) a person who sold quack medicines in public places
a charlatan; fake
(intransitive) to play the mountebank

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


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