charlatan

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n charlatan a flamboyant deceiver; one who attracts customers with tricks or jokes
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Charlatan One who prates much in his own favor, and makes unwarrantable pretensions; a quack; an impostor; an empiric; a mountebank.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n charlatan One who pretends to knowledge, skill, importance, etc., which he does not possess; a pretender; a quack, mountebank, or empiric.
    • n charlatan Synonyms Impostor, cheat, pretender; Mountebank, etc. (see quack).
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Charlatan shär′la-tan a mere talking pretender: a quack
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. charlatan, fr. It. ciarlatano, fr. ciarlare, to chartter, prate; of imitative origin; cf. It. zirlare, to whistle like a thrush
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.,—It. ciarlatanociarlare, to chatter, an imit. word.

Usage

In literature:

Will it be said that this is only the effect of imagination, prepossession, or the trickery of a clever charlatan?
"The Phantom World" by Augustin Calmet
What had they in common with this charlatan who treated the abominable teachings of Walt Whitman symphonically?
"Melomaniacs" by James Huneker
When will sensible men reject such charlatanism?
"Ancient and Modern Celebrated Freethinkers" by Charles Bradlaugh, A. Collins, and J. Watts
The mystagogue is but too closely allied to the charlatan.
"Hours in a Library" by Leslie Stephen
My name had been seized, as I learned later, by agencies, and was being hawked around to charlatans and medicine-venders.
"Confessions of a Neurasthenic" by William Taylor Marrs
The word charlatan clung to him like a pestilential memory.
"The Moving Finger" by E. Phillips Oppenheim
The charlatans can do all the things that the real mediums do.
"The Come Back" by Carolyn Wells
And would you seriously stand up for this cold and vain charlatan?
"The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries" by Various
And now you appeal to that charlatan!
"The German Classics, v. 20" by Various
The priests of all nations have begun by being charlatans, castle builders, divines, and sorcerers.
"Letters to Eugenia" by Baron d'Holbach
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In poetry:

Those aged men so lean and wan,
They've seen it all before,
They know they'll see the charlatan
But twice or three times more.
"At a Pantomime." by William Schwenck Gilbert
If through adversity we trod,
Yet with serene and smiling face,
And trusted more to saving grace
Than charlatans and cranks,
For this let us give thanks.
"Let Us Give Thanks" by Hattie Howard
Now we're traveling, what holds back
Arrival, in the very track
Where the urge put forth; so we stay
And move a thousand miles a day.
Time's a Fancy ringing bells
Whose meaning, charlatan history, tells!
"Ironic: LL.D." by William Stanley Braithwaite

In news:

H ubris-laden charlatans was the way a recent e-mail from a reader characterized the Obama administration.
New York writer Pope Brock describes the exploits of Depression-era quack John R Brinkley in Charlatan : America's Most Dangerous Huckster, the Man Who Pursued Him, and the Age of Flimflam.
I have dubbed this movement of celebrated American writers the New Charlatans .
His ethical breakthrough surely allows him entry into the hallowed ranks of the New Charlatans .
Bush Denounces Duke As Racist and Charlatan .
In his strongest comments to date on the Louisiana governor's race, President Bush said today that State Representative David Duke was a charlatan unfit to hold public office because he has espoused racist and neo-Nazi beliefs.
He prefers we not use that term, as that would lump him in with charlatans and frauds, thank you very much.
They were repelled by what they saw as the hucksterism and charlatanism that had given attempts to delay human aging a bad name.
Memo to all plagiarists, fabricators, jailhouse-memoirists and other literary charlatans: This is a story about a writer.
Most children's authors portray psychics as charlatans, but your books leave room for both skeptics and believers.
Cartoons, crime, charlatans and Obama are all here for your viewing pleasure.
A low-budget faux horror documentary about a minister-charlatan who invites a film crew to document one of his smoke-and-mirrors exorcisms .
Q&A with screen and stage actor Leslie Odom Jr. What does the recently opened Broadway musical, Leap of Faith, about a charlatan preacher.
Calling President Bush "the murderer and spiller of Muslim blood," al Qaeda's top deputy released a videotape Friday accusing the US president of being a "deceitful charlatan" who has lied to the American people.
Ledger (left) and Damon as Gilliam's charlatan brothers.
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