• WordNet 3.6
    • n mountebank a flamboyant deceiver; one who attracts customers with tricks or jokes
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Mountebank Any boastful or false pretender; a charlatan; a quack. "Nothing so impossible in nature but mountebanks will undertake."
    • Mountebank One who mounts a bench or stage in the market or other public place, boasts of his skill in curing diseases, and vends medicines which he pretends are infallible remedies; a quack doctor. "Such is the weakness and easy credulity of men, that a mountebank . . . is preferred before an able physician."
    • v. t Mountebank To cheat by boasting and false pretenses; to gull.
    • v. i Mountebank To play the mountebank.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n mountebank A peripatetic quack; one who prescribes and sells nostrums at fairs and similar gatherings.
    • n mountebank Hence Any impudent and unscrupulous pretender; a charlatan.
    • n mountebank The short-tailed African kite, Helotarsus ecaudatus: so called from its aërial tumbling. Synonyms Empiric, etc. See quack, n.
    • mountebank Pertaining to or consisting of mountebanks; sham; quack: as, a mountebank doctor.
    • mountebank Produced by quackery or jugglery.
    • mountebank To cheat by unscrupulous and impudent arts; gull.
    • mountebank To introduce or insinuate by delusive arts or pretensions.
    • mountebank To play the mountebank: with indefinite it.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Mountebank mown′te-bangk a quack-doctor who boasts of his skill and his medicines: a boastful pretender
    • adj Mountebank pertaining to such, sham
    • v.t Mountebank to cheat by false pretences, to humbug
    • v.i Mountebank to play the mountebank
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
It. montimbanco, montambanco,; montare, to mount + in, in, upon + banco, bench. See Mount, and 4th Bank


In literature:

Unless Stukely also was mountebanking, the spy Mannourie for the present kept Raleigh's counsel.
"Raleigh" by Edmund Gosse
Anything less would condemn a man as a fool or a mountebank.
"The Message" by Alec John Dawson
He thought artists were merely mountebanks, etc., etc.
"A History of the French Novel, Vol. 2" by George Saintsbury
I remember once, when I was in the world, I saw a mountebank driving ten horses at once.
"In Convent Walls" by Emily Sarah Holt
I should have been a mountebank to this day but for an accident.
"The Duke's Motto" by Justin Huntly McCarthy
The spirit of mountebankism overshadows the spirit of the mighty man, and his very relics are rendered ridiculous.
"A Tramp's Wallet stored by an English goldsmith during his wanderings in Germany and France" by William Duthie
A traveling mountebank, more likely.
"The Saracen: Land of the Infidel" by Robert Shea
Sellers of lottery-tickets, writers of love-letters, jugglers and mountebanks plied their trades.
"When Dreams Come True" by Ritter Brown
You call me a mountebank.
"The Golden Woman" by Ridgwell Cullum
The end of the world has been a fertile and profitable theme with pulpit mountebanks and pious adventurers.
"Flowers of Freethought" by George W. Foote

In poetry:

They sought and found undying fame:
They toiled not for reward nor thanks:
Their cheeks are hot with honest shame
For you, the modern mountebanks!
"Fame's Penny-Trumpet" by Lewis Carroll
``Then must you with invectives fume and rage
All through the land, denouncing evil times,
With histrionic passion; 'tis a stage
For mountebanks and mimes—
"Sacred And Profane Love" by Alfred Austin
Then a booth of mountebanks,
With its smell of tan and planks,
And a girl poised high in air
On a cord, in spangled dress,
With a faded loveliness,
And a weary look of care.
"The Ropewalk. (Birds Of Passage. Flight The First)" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Take mountebanks, prancers,
Fops, fiddlers, and dancers,
So volatile, versatile, nimble; Pimps, parasites, spyers, Apostates, rogues, liars,
State coblers; and knights of the thimble.
"Recipe To make A French Legion of Honour" by Thomas Stott

In news:

In his newspaper column, Gavin criticized the talk-radio host as "a mountebank whose 'expert' opinions and advice are complete hooey.".
Its personages are fanatics, and radicals, and mountebanks.
He matches my image of what Ethan Allen must have been like: in love with his wilderness, familiar with its every corner and with a wee bit of mountebank thrown in.
RealAudio) So Long, Farewell (Now Beat It, You Little Mountebanks).