from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A person who leads others, especially in illicit or informal activities.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. a leader of a group of people, especially an unofficial group
- n. a person who starts and leads a disturbance (such as a riot), a conspiracy, or a criminal gang
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The leader of a circle of dancers; hence, the leader of a number of persons acting together; the leader of a herd of animals.
- n. Opprobriously, a leader of a body of men engaged in the violation of law or in an illegal enterprise, as rioters, mutineers, or the like.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. One who leads a ring, as of dancers; one who opens a ball.
- n. Hence The leader or chief in any enterprise; particularly, one who leads and incites others to the violation of the law or the recognized rules of society: as, the ringleader in a riot or a mutiny.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a person who leads (especially in illicit activities)
ring + leader (Wiktionary)