ring-leader

ringleader

[ring-lee-der]
noun
a person who leads others, especially in opposition to authority, law, etc.: a ringleader of revolutionary activities.

Origin:
1495–1505; ring1 + leader

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
ringleader (ˈrɪŋˌliːdə)
 
n
a person who leads others in any kind of unlawful or mischievous activity

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

ringleader
c.1500, from M.E. phrase to lead the ring (mid-14c.), probably from a medieval metaphor from dancing.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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