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grifter

[grif-ter] /ˈgrɪf tər/
noun, Slang.
1.
a person who operates a side show at a circus, fair, etc., especially a gambling attraction.
2.
a swindler, dishonest gambler, or the like.
Origin
1910-1915
1910-15; grift + -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for grifter
  • In his cross-examination, he proceeded to portray her as a lying grifter.
  • As the amiable grifter with an iron ego, he projects a distinctly bouncy likable personality into an unusual role.
Word Origin and History for grifter
grifter
"confidence trickster," 1915, carnival and circus slang, probably an alteration of grafter (see graft (n.)). Gradually extended to "any non-violent criminal."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for grifter

grifter

noun
  1. A gambler (Circus)
  2. A confidence trickster, hawker, minor criminal, etc
  3. A hobo; vagabond; drifter (1915+ Carnival & circus)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Difficulty index for grifter

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for grifter

11
12
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