What does charlatan mean?

Definitions for charlatan
ˈʃɑr lə tnchar·la·tan

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word charlatan.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. mountebank, charlatannoun

    a flamboyant deceiver; one who attracts customers with tricks or jokes


  1. charlatannoun

    A malicious trickster; a fake person, especially one who deceives for personal profit.

  2. Etymology: From charlatan, from ciarlatano, a, literally, a native of Cerreto, a village in Umbria, known for its quacks.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. CHARLATANnoun

    A quack; a mountebank; an empirick.

    Etymology: charlatan, Fr. ciarlatano, Ital. from ciarlare, to chatter.

    Saltimbanchoes, quacksalvers, and charlatans, deceive them in lower degrees. Thomas Browne, Vulgar Errours. b. i. c. 3.

    For charlatans can do no good,
    Until they’re mounted in a crowd. Hudibras.


  1. Charlatan

    A charlatan (also called a swindler or mountebank) is a person practicing quackery or a similar confidence trick in order to obtain money, power, fame, or other advantages through pretense or deception. One example of a Charlatan is The Pardoner of "The Canturbury Tales" who tricks sinners into buying fake religious relics. Synonyms for charlatan include shyster, quack, or faker. Quack is a reference to quackery or the practice of dubious medicine, including the sale of snake oil, or a person who does not have medical training who purports to provide medical services.


  1. charlatan

    A charlatan is a person who pretends to have knowledge, skills, or abilities that they do not possess in order to deceive or defraud others. They often use manipulation, tricks, or false claims to gain the trust or money of unsuspecting individuals. Charlatans are typically motivated by personal gain or power and lack the integrity and honesty of genuine experts or professionals.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Charlatannoun

    one who prates much in his own favor, and makes unwarrantable pretensions; a quack; an impostor; an empiric; a mountebank

  2. Etymology: [F. charlatan, fr. It. ciarlatano, fr. ciarlare to chartter, prate; of imitative origin; cf. It. zirlare to whistle like a thrush.]


  1. Charlatan

    A charlatan is a person practicing quackery or some similar confidence trick in order to obtain money, fame or other advantages via some form of pretense or deception. The word comes from French charlatan, a seller of medicines who might advertise his presence with music and an outdoor stage show. The best known of the Parisian charlatans was Tabarin, who set up a stage in the Place Dauphin, Paris in 1618, and whose commedia dell'arte inspired skits and whose farces inspired Molière. The word can also be traced to Spanish; charlatán, an indiscreetly talkative person, a chatterbox. Ultimately, etymologists trace "charlatan" from either the Italian ciarlare, to prattle; or from Cerretano, a resident of Cerreto, a village in Umbria, known for its quacks.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Charlatan

    shär′la-tan, n. a mere talking pretender: a quack.—adj. Charlatan′ic.—ns. Char′latanism, Char′latanry. [Fr.,—It. ciarlatanociarlare, to chatter, an imit. word.]

Etymology and Origins

  1. Charlatan

    From the Italian ciarlatano, a quack, a babbler, a loquacious itinerant who sold medicines in a public square.

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of charlatan in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of charlatan in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of charlatan in a Sentence

  1. Laksheish M Patel:

    SBIcap securities like most other stock brokerage firms is a charlatan that dupes its clients

  2. Elbert Hubbard:

    The man who craves disciples and wants followers is always more or less of a charlatan. The man of genuine worth and insight wants to be himself; and he wants others to be themselves, also.

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"charlatan." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 2 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/charlatan>.

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