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.

1570–80; (< Middle French) < Italian montimbanco one who climbs on a bench, equivalent to mont(are) to climb (see mount1) + -im-, variant of in on + banco bench (see bank2)

mountebankery [moun-tuh-bangk-uh-ree] , noun

1. pitchman. 2. phony, pretender, fraud. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
mountebank (ˈmaʊntɪˌbæŋk)
1.  (formerly) a person who sold quack medicines in public places
2.  a charlatan; fake
3.  (intr) to play the mountebank
[C16: from Italian montambanco a climber on a bench, from montare to mount² + bancobench (see also bank1)]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"a doctor that mounts a bench in the market, and boasts his infallible remedies and cures" [Johnson], 1577, 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" + banco, var. of banca "bench."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Well, elections consist of various charlatans and mountebanks seeking votes.
Other seventeenth century posters remain to prove that mountebanks gave concerts of cats at fairs.
He thought that the people here believed them te be a set of mountebanks by the manner in which they looked at them.
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