Is it ringleader or ring leader? What does the term even mean? Good questions and ones that I’ll cover in this quick guide. Learn all about the origin of the commonly used word and make sure you’re using it properly.
“Ringleader” is a noun that refers to the leader or main organizer of a group, especially a group that is involved in illegal or nefarious activities. The term is often used to describe someone who is the driving force behind a criminal enterprise or conspiracy and who is responsible for recruiting and coordinating the actions of others.
Origin of Ringleader
The word “ringleader” is derived from the phrase “ring of thieves,” which refers to a group of thieves who work together in a coordinated way, like a ring. The word “ring” in this context refers to a circle or closed group, while “leader” refers to the person who directs or guides the group. The term “ringleader” was first recorded in English in the early 1600s and has been in use ever since.
Today, we mostly use the word “ringleader” to describe the leader of a group that is involved in criminal or dishonest activities, but it can also be used more broadly to describe the leader of any group, especially one that is organized or coordinated in some way.
Is It Ringleader or Ring Leader?
You could technically use either spelling; ringleader or ring leader. But the single word “ringleader” is the more commonly accepted way of writing it.
Here are a few examples of ringleader in a sentence:
- The police arrested the ringleader of the counterfeiting operation and several of his accomplices.
- The company’s CEO was the ringleader of the scheme to defraud investors.
- The ringleader of the student protest organized the demonstration and led the march.
- The alleged ringleader has been running crime rings for years.
It is worth noting that you can also use the term as an adjective to describe something or someone that is the main or most important part of a group or enterprise. For example:
- The ringleader of the campaign was the one who came up with the idea and recruited the volunteers.
- Yes, he’s a handsome ringleader, Debbie. But he’s also a murderer.
- The ringleader of the project was responsible for overseeing the work of the team and ensuring that everything was on track.
Synonyms for Ringleader
There are tons of words you can use in place of ringleader, but here are a few common ones I often see.
- Evil genius
- Gang leader
- Head honcho
Final Words on Ringleader
In the end, “ringleader” is a common noun referring to a boss or main organizer of a certain group, especially one that is involved in illegal or nefarious activities. Use it as an adjective to describe something or someone that is the main or most important part of a group or enterprise. So, the next time you’re writing about a ring of thieves, be sure they have a ringleader!