Definition of ringer in English:



  • 1informal An athlete or horse fraudulently substituted for another in a competition or event:

    ‘it was discovered that the winning horse was a ringer’
    • ‘Hey, at least he spotted the ringers, which was more than Security did.’
    • ‘But far from exposing Jeffy once they have discovered his secret, his fellow athletes decide to enlist the ringer in a bid to beat the arrogant champion.’
    • ‘It didn't take the Army long to figure out that they had a ringer in their midst.’
    1. 1.1 A motor vehicle whose identity has been fraudulently changed by the substitution of a different registration plate:
      ‘the patrol was told the van was a ringer’
    2. 1.2 A highly proficient person brought in supplement a team or group:
      ‘officials had packed the squad with ringers’
      • ‘When Morelli and other full members can't make a performance, Orpheus uses ringers to fill in for them.’
      • ‘With more teams popping up and ringers being fought over, some sort of order would have to be instituted.’
      • ‘I don't really understand how Victory dropped the ball on this one, but I guess they needed to make a bit of money for once and thought it was time to bring in some ringers.’
      • ‘In order to win a bet with the rival nuclear facility, he hires several professional baseball players as ringers.’
      • ‘In order to beat Darwin, their rival school, in a football game, Wagstaff hires two ringers.’
  • 2informal A person or thing that looks very like another:

    ‘he is a dead ringer for his late papa’
    • ‘Almost all the actors and actresses in this splendid show are ringers for the historical persons they portray.’
    • ‘Would his concentrated attention have anything to do with the fact that she is a striking brunette, considered by some to be a ringer for Monica Lewinsky?’
    • ‘Nils Hognestad as Desmond is a bit of a ringer for Prince William and manages an impressive degree of bumbling charisma.’
    • ‘Farmiga, a ringer for a young Faye Dunaway, won an acting award at the close of the festival.’
  • 3A person or device that rings something.

    • ‘In the distance, church bells rang out as a team of ringers sought perfection through incessant practise.’
    • ‘The ringer is great - very loud and supplemented with a vibrate.’
    • ‘Tremulous, I park my car by the curb and slowly walk up to the front door, knocking the brass ringer.’
    • ‘It was used for gatherings of staff and family at Christmas and New Year, with traditional entertainments provided by the Ackworth mummers and parish hand-bell ringers.’
  • 4Australian NZ A shearer with the highest tally of sheep shorn in a given period:

    ‘Paddy had established himself as the ringer of the shed’
    • ‘Shearers are paid per sheep shorn and typically shear about 100 per day, although a top shearer or ‘ringer’ (the fastest shearer in the shed) can shear between about 200 and 300 a day.’
  • 5Australian A stockman, especially one employed in droving:

    ‘ringers on the seven stations branded 30,057 calves’
    • ‘I started as a ringer when I was 15 on Epsilon Station near Cameron’s Corner in Queensland’s far south west.’