noun Slang.
a person who operates a side show at a circus, fair, etc., especially a gambling attraction.
a swindler, dishonest gambler, or the like.

1910–15; grift + -er1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Word Origin & History

"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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Example sentences
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.
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