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How to pronounce charlatan (audio)


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Dictionary definition of charlatan

A person who pretends to have knowledge, skills, or qualifications, especially to deceive or cheat others.
"She was a charlatan who claimed to have a secret formula for weight loss."


Detailed meaning of charlatan

It can also describe a person who is a fraud or a con artist, who makes false or misleading claims in order to deceive or defraud others. For example, a person who claims to be a medical doctor but who does not have a legitimate medical degree might be described as a charlatan. A person who sells quack remedies or who makes false or exaggerated claims about the effectiveness of their products might also be seen as a charlatan. The term is often used to describe someone who is dishonest or insincere, and who is motivated by greed or a desire to deceive others.

Example sentences containing charlatan

1. The charlatan claimed to be a medical expert, but he had no formal training.
2. She exposed the charlatan's false claims about supernatural powers.
3. Don't trust that charlatan; he's just trying to steal your money.
4. The charlatan's phony investment scheme led to financial ruin for many.
5. His reputation as a charlatan followed him wherever he went.
6. The charlatan's smooth talk convinced people to buy worthless products.

History and etymology of charlatan

The noun 'charlatan' has a fascinating etymology with roots in Italian and French. It is believed to have originated from the Italian word 'ciarlatano,' which referred to someone who made loud, extravagant claims or noise. This term was often used to describe traveling salespeople or quacks who peddled fake remedies and potions while using persuasive, showy techniques to attract customers. The word 'ciarlatano' made its way into French as 'charlatan,' where it retained its meaning related to deceitful peddlers of dubious knowledge or products. Over time, 'charlatan' was adopted into English to describe a person who pretends to have knowledge, skills, or qualifications, especially to deceive or cheat others. The etymology of 'charlatan' underscores the historical association with fraudulent practices and the art of deception in the realm of knowledge and expertise.

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Further usage examples of charlatan

1. The detective exposed the charlatan's fraudulent psychic readings.
2. She fell victim to a charlatan's promise of instant wealth.
3. That charlatan posed as a lawyer to defraud innocent clients.
4. The charlatan's charisma masked his lack of real expertise.
5. The town was plagued by a notorious charlatan posing as a healer.
6. The charlatan's deceptive tactics left a trail of broken hearts.
7. The charlatan's deceitful acts finally caught up with him.
8. The charlatan's fake credentials fooled many into hiring him.
9. Beware of the charlatan who claims to have a miracle cure.
10. The charlatan used pseudoscience to manipulate vulnerable people.
11. The charlatan's web of lies unraveled in court.
12. The charlatan preyed on the elderly with his bogus schemes.
13. She exposed the charlatan's false claims of being a celebrity chef.
14. The charlatan's false promises left a community in despair.
15. The charlatan's cunning tactics led to a string of robberies.
16. He masqueraded as a doctor, but he was just a charlatan.
17. The charlatan's silver tongue swindled unsuspecting investors.
18. The charlatan's deceitful ways were finally exposed to the world.
19. The charlatan's reckless actions had dire consequences for his victims.



fraud, expert, professional, specialist


GRE 11 (Graduate Record Examination), Artifice and Falseness, Deception and Trickery

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