Definition of charlatan in English:


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  • A person falsely claiming to have a special knowledge or skill; a fraud.

    ‘a self-confessed con artist and charlatan’
    • ‘Take the case of the charlatan who claims to transmit thoughts at a distance.’
    • ‘I'm either a liar, a cheat, and a charlatan, or I'm crazy, and I have these weird visions that are purely from my imagination.’
    • ‘They are all a bunch of charlatans and confidence men.’
    • ‘The quacks and charlatans, after all, may not be worth much in terms of delivering on their promises.’
    • ‘He despised quacks and charlatans because he admired the power of thought and reason so profoundly.’
    • ‘This is confirmed by the long history of charlatans and quacks who appear highly plausible to the public, but not to experienced doctors.’
    • ‘They are being led by hypocrites at best, charlatans and con men at worse.’
    • ‘I saw myself protecting poetry against the pretenders, the charlatans, the fakers.’
    • ‘If we do not expose him for a fraud and a charlatan we give him credibility.’
    • ‘Unless, of course, you want to be unmasked for the charlatan and scoundrel you are.’
    • ‘But even apart from the reactionary content of their politics, the dearth of substantive analysis brands them as charlatans and imposters.’
    • ‘Please, please keep up the good work exposing the ever-increasing hoards of quacks and charlatans out there.’
    • ‘Its history is littered with crooks, con men and charlatans.’
    • ‘The team does not feel the average person today is as ignorant toward shams and charlatans as they might have been just ten years ago.’
    • ‘But then we'd expect that - the same thing happened to Newton without him being considered a charlatan or a fraud.’
    • ‘We are a laid back people - yet we're not a dumb people, and we will not be fooled by a political charlatan such as yourself.’
    • ‘Whoever promises a quick and easy solution is either a fool, a charlatan or a demagogue.’
    • ‘So he was a liar and a charlatan, every magician is.’
    • ‘That man was proclaimed a fool, a crook and a charlatan up and down the country.’
    • ‘Was he the charlatan and opportunist many still claim him to be?’
    quack, mountebank, sham, fraud, fake, humbug, impostor, pretender, masquerader, hoodwinker, hoaxer, cheat, deceiver, dissembler, double-dealer, double-crosser, trickster, confidence trickster, cheater, swindler, fraudster, racketeer
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/ˈSHärləd(ə)n/ /ˈʃɑrləd(ə)n/ /ˈSHärlətn/ /ˈʃɑrlətn/


Early 17th century (denoting an itinerant seller of supposed remedies): from French, from Italian ciarlatano, from ciarlare ‘to babble’.