What does quack mean?

Definitions for quack

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. quacknoun

    an untrained person who pretends to be a physician and who dispenses medical advice

  2. quackadjective

    the harsh sound of a duck

  3. quack(a)verb

    medically unqualified

    "a quack doctor"

  4. quackverb

    utter quacking noises

    "The ducks quacked"

  5. quackverb

    act as a medical quack or a charlatan


  1. quacknoun

    A fraudulent healer or incompetent doctor of medicine, an impostor who claims to have qualifications to practice medicine.

    That doctor is nothing but a lousy quack!

  2. quacknoun

    A charlatan.

  3. quack

    A doctor.

  4. quackverb

    To practice, commit quackery.

  5. quackadjective

    falsely presented as having medicinal powers.

    Don't get your hopes up; that's quack medicine!

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Quacknoun

    Etymology: from the verb.

    The change, schools and pulpits are full of quacks, jugglers and plagiaries. Roger L'Estrange.

    Some quacks in the art of teaching, pretend to make young gentlemen masters of the languages, before they can be masters of common sense. Henry Felton, on the Classicks.

    At the first appearance that a French quack made in Paris: a little boy walked before him, publishing with a shrill voice, “My father cures all sorts of distempers;’’ to which the doctor added in a grave manner, “The child says true.’’ Addison.

    Despairing quacks with curses fled the place,
    And vile attorneys, now an useless race. Alexander Pope.

  2. To QUACKverb

    Etymology: quacken, Dutch, to cry as a goose.

    Wild-ducks quack where grasshoppers did sing. King.

    Believe mechanick virtuosi
    Can raise them mountains in Potosi,
    Seek out for plants with signatures,
    To quack of universal cures. Hudibras, p. iii.


  1. quack

    A quack is a person who dishonestly claims to have special knowledge and skills in a particular area, especially in medicine, for the purpose of deception, often to make money. It is often used to refer to fraudulent or ignorant practitioners, specifically in the field of healthcare who may dispense treatments that are unproven, ineffective, or potentially dangerous. This term originally comes from "quacksalver," meaning a person who cures with home remedies.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Quackverb

    to utter a sound like the cry of a duck

  2. Quackverb

    to make vain and loud pretensions; to boast

  3. Quackverb

    to act the part of a quack, or pretender

  4. Quacknoun

    the cry of the duck, or a sound in imitation of it; a hoarse, quacking noise

  5. Quacknoun

    a boastful pretender to medical skill; an empiric; an ignorant practitioner

  6. Quacknoun

    hence, one who boastfully pretends to skill or knowledge of any kind not possessed; a charlatan

  7. Quackadjective

    pertaining to or characterized by, boasting and pretension; used by quacks; pretending to cure diseases; as, a quack medicine; a quack doctor

  8. Etymology: [Of imitative origin; cf. D. kwaken, G. quacken, quaken, Icel. kvaka to twitter.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Quack

    kwak, v.i. to cry like a duck: to boast: to practise as a quack.—v.t. to doctor by quackery.—n. the cry of a duck: a boastful pretender to skill which he does not possess, esp. medical skill: a mountebank.—adj. pertaining to quackery: used by quacks.—n. Quack′ery, the pretensions or practice of a quack, esp. in medicine.—adj. Quack′ish, like a quack: boastful: trickish.—n. Quack′ism.—v.i. Quack′le (rare), to quack, croak.—n. Quack′salver, a quack who deals in salves, ointments, &c.: a quack generally.—adj. Quack′salving. [Imit.; cf. Ger. quaken, Dut. kwaken, Gr. koax, a croak.]

Etymology and Origins

  1. Quack

    The name borne by an itinerant trader, who makes a great noise in open market, quacking like a duck in his efforts to dispose of wares that are not genuine; hence anyone nowadays who follows a profession which he does not rightly understand. A “Quack Doctor” was formerly styled a Quack Salver, from the salves, lotions, and medicines he dispensed to the crowd at the street corners.

How to pronounce quack?

How to say quack in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of quack in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of quack in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of quack in a Sentence

  1. Richter cartoon caption:

    Orthodox medicine has not found an answer to your complaint. However, luckily for you, I happen to be a quack.

  2. Ian Shoales:

    Sigmund Freud was a half baked Viennese quack. Our literature, culture, and the the films of Woody Allen would be better today if Freud had never written a word.

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Translations for quack

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • بطبطةArabic
  • rappe, kvaksalver, rapDanish
  • Quacksalber, QuakenGerman
  • κομπογιαννίτης, αλμπάνης, τσαρλατάνος, πα παGreek
  • matasanos, curandero, cuac, charlatánSpanish
  • prääksEstonian
  • huijari, puoskari, kvaak, vaakkuaFinnish
  • gvagg, kvaggFaroese
  • charlatan, coin-coin, cancanerFrench
  • vrácIrish
  • háp, hápogHungarian
  • շառլատանArmenian
  • quaccarInterlingua
  • svikari, guss, andagagg, gussa, fúskari, skottu-, svika-, skottulæknir, gagga, fals-, falsari, loddariIcelandic
  • pataccaro, empirico, qua qua, imbonitore, ciarlatano, mediconzoloItalian
  • クェッ クェッ, ガーガーと鳴く, ガー ガー, ガヤガヤしゃべる, やぶ医者, ペテン師, クワッ クワッ, もぐりの医者Japanese
  • pharmacopolam circumforaneumLatin
  • keakea, kēkēMāori
  • квакMacedonian
  • wakMalay
  • charlatan, kwak, kwakzalver, kwaken, kwakzalverenDutch
  • medyk, kwa, kwakać, konował, szarlatanPolish
  • grassitar, grasnir, gracitar, curandeiro, mata-sanos, charlatão, quac, grasnarPortuguese
  • mac, măcăitură, mac-mac, măcăi, măcănit, măcăitRomanian
  • кря-кря, шарлатан, кряканье, крякнуть, крякатьRussian
  • kvacksalvare, kvack, kvackaSwedish
  • vak, vaklamakTurkish

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"quack." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 20 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/quack>.

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