Today’s Word : mountebank

Word : mountebank

PRONUNCIATION:

(MOUN-tuh-bangk)

MEANING:

noun: An unscrupulous pretender; a quack.

ETYMOLOGY:

A mountebank was a hawker of quack medicines who peddled his wares from the top of a bench to attract customers. The word is from Italian montambanco (one who climbs on a bench), from montare (to climb) + banco (bench). Earliest documented use: 1577.

USAGE:

“Billy Graham is now at death’s door, and I shudder at the fulsome eulogies and encomiums that will be heaped on him upon his demise. Fortunately, Bothwell’s book [The Prince of War] can provide a salutary antidote to them. It’s the only fitting memorial for Graham and stands as a stark warning to posterity to be on guard against similar charlatans, mountebanks, and demagogues, especially in the fertile field of religion. Bothwell’s book should be required reading for all Americans.”
Richard A. S. Hall; Evangelist Unmasked; Free Inquiry (Amherst, New York); Aug/Sep 2011.

Explore “mountebank” in the Visual Thesaurus.

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