ring·​lead·​er | \ ˈriŋ-ˌlē-dər How to pronounce ringleader (audio) \

Definition of ringleader

: a leader of a ring of individuals engaged especially in improper or unlawful activities

Examples of ringleader in a Sentence

the ringleader of a gang of criminals
Recent Examples on the Web Trask identified 37-year-old Adam Fox as the ringleader of the group, and said that Fox ordered two surveillance operations of Whitmer's vacation home. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, "FBI agent: Suspects wanted to take Whitmer out on boat and leave her in Lake Michigan," 13 Oct. 2020 The ringleader, a man of Iraqi descent, was sentenced to 17 years. Washington Post, "World Digest: Oct. 8, 2020," 8 Oct. 2020 The ringleader of an insider fraud scheme that cost Catholic Charities of the Twin Cities nearly $700,000 has been sentenced to a nearly six-year federal prison term. Paul Walsh, Star Tribune, "Prison for Twin Cities woman whose insider scheme cost Catholic Charities $684K," 6 Oct. 2020 Jordan Shanholtzer, 33, described as the ringleader, Matthew Moi, 35, Kenneth Ford, 29, Myrick Elliott, 34, and Isaiah Roderick, 21, were all charged with drug and money launder conspiracy. Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News, "6 face federal charges in drug trafficking enterprise prosecutors say led to an Anchorage murder," 29 Sep. 2020 Jenkins, the ringleader of the Gun Trace Task Force, is serving 25 years in a South Carolina prison for that incident as well as a slew of other robberies and drug dealing. Justin Fenton, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore reaches more GTTF lawsuit settlements, including with two men imprisoned in 2010 drug-planting case," 25 Sep. 2020 Also arriving in New Jersey was 9/11 ringleader Mohamad Atta, who flew in from Florida. Mike Kelly, USA TODAY, "Why a visit by a Saudi official to New Jersey is now part of the 9/11 investigation," 12 Sep. 2020 Around eight-thirty, Haskell, the ringleader, announced that the men had made their point. Eliza Griswold, The New Yorker, "A Community Organizer Takes on White Vigilantism," 2 Sep. 2020 An Illinois militia leader accused of being the ringleader in the 2017 bombing of the mosque is awaiting trial. Zoë Jackson, Star Tribune, "Walz, Ellison, faith leaders call for unity in wake of attack on imam," 14 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ringleader.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ringleader

circa 1503, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for ringleader

Time Traveler

The first known use of ringleader was circa 1503

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Statistics for ringleader

Last Updated

22 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ringleader.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ringleader. Accessed 28 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for ringleader


How to pronounce ringleader (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of ringleader

: the leader of a group that causes trouble or is involved in an illegal activity


ring·​lead·​er | \ ˈriŋ-ˌlē-dər How to pronounce ringleader (audio) \

Kids Definition of ringleader

: a leader especially of a group of people who cause trouble

More from Merriam-Webster on ringleader

Nglish: Translation of ringleader for Spanish Speakers

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