Definition of ringleader in English:



  • A person who initiates or leads an illicit or illegal activity.

    ‘the four ringleaders were sentenced to death on the gibbet’
    • ‘Twenty-five prisoners, thought to be the ringleaders of a hunger strike caused by appalling food, were confined to a punitive boiler room whose temperature could go up to 200 degrees.’
    • ‘The alleged ringleader of a gang of Internet copyright pirates was back in jail last night after US authorities won the latest round in their battle to extradite him from Australia on multi-million dollar software piracy charges.’
    • ‘And the music industry is about to crack down on the biggest file-sharing ringleaders.’
    • ‘The ringleaders of the Council were rounded up in a joint effort between the French government and the British Royal Navy.’
    • ‘Police raided the ringleader's business and confiscated 35 stolen laptops and 20 PDAs.’
    • ‘The ringleader was sentenced to eight years in prison.’
    • ‘Yesterday an American man admitted to being the ringleader in a $2 million counterfeiting ring - he faces a maximum of seven years in jail when sentenced on January 31.’
    • ‘The ringleaders, who have already been through an eight and a half month trial, now face further court action to confiscate some of the millions that they are believed to have made.’
    • ‘Thereafter only mopping-up operations remained in Spain; a mutiny in his army was quelled, and the ringleaders executed.’
    • ‘They arrested one or two of the ringleaders, but no one wanted to give evidence and they were released on bail.’
    • ‘The ringleader is a former armed robber originally from the North and has served two prison sentences.’
    • ‘Though the others may have been part of this plot, she is clearly the ringleader.’
    • ‘Australian police have charged the alleged ringleader of a massive advance fee fraud network with offences which they claim were committed since he was held on remand in October last year.’
    • ‘The ringleaders remain at large, and their exact motives remain unclear.’
    initiator, prime mover, motivator, architect, designer, deviser, planner, shaper, inventor, maker, producer, contriver, mastermind, originator, author, creator, founder, pioneer, father, mother, founding father, agent
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