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charlatan (noun) a quack; a pretender.

A person, who pretends to know what they do not know, and has no education or training in the area they claim to know, is a charlatan. People have now and again been duped by pretenders to knowledge, that is, by charlatans, who claim to have knowledge and skills which they really do not have. Those who claim to have powers of prediction are charlatans, because none can know the future. Most politicians are charlatans in that they pretend to know political science and theory which they really may not know. A person practicing a profession without qualifications or with false qualifications is a charlatan.

  • Charlatans claiming to have knowledge of the process of changing metals like lead into gold were quite common in the 16th century England, and a good number of people attracted by the prospect were duped by them.
  • When none of the astrologer's predictions came true, his clients realized that he was another charlatan, and that he had cheated them by claiming to have the capacity for prediction.
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Last Modified : 11-May 2009
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