ringer

1 [ring-er]
noun
1.
a person or thing that encircles, rings, etc.
2.
a quoit or horseshoe so thrown as to encircle the peg.
3.
the throw itself.
4.
Also, ringers. Also called ring taw. Marbles. a game in which players place marbles in a cross marked in the center of a circle, the object being to knock as many marbles as possible outside the circle by using another marble shooter.
5.
Australian. a highly skilled sheep shearer.

Origin:
1815–25; ring1 + -er1

Dictionary.com Unabridged

ringer

2 [ring-er]
noun
1.
a person or thing that rings or makes a ringing noise: a ringer of bells; a bell that is a loud ringer.
3.
Slang.
a.
a racehorse, athlete, or the like entered in a competition under false representation as to identity or ability.
b.
a student paid by another to take an exam.
c.
any person or thing that is fraudulent; fake or impostor.
d.
a substitute or addition, as a professional musician hired to strengthen a school orchestra: We hired three ringers for the commencement concert.

Origin:
1375–1425; late Middle English; see ring2, -er1

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
ringer (ˈrɪŋə)
 
n
1.  a person or thing that rings a bell
2.  slang Also called: dead ringer a person or thing that is almost identical to another
3.  slang a stolen vehicle the identity of which has been changed by the use of the licence plate, serial number, etc, of another, usually disused, vehicle
4.  (US) a contestant, esp a horse, entered in a competition under false representations of identity, record, or ability
5.  (Austral), (NZ) the fastest shearer in a shed
6.  informal (Austral) the fastest or best at anything
7.  a quoit thrown so as to encircle a peg
8.  such a throw

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

ringer
especially be a dead ringer for "resemble closely," 1891, from ringer, a fast horse entered fraudulently in a race in place of a slow one (the verb to ring in this sense is attested from 1812), possibly from British ring in "substitute, exchange," via ring the changes, "substitute counterfeit money for
good," a pun on ring the changes in the sense of play the regular series of variations in a peal of bells (1614). Meaning "expert" is first recorded 1918, Australian slang, from earlier meaning "man who shears the most sheep per day" (1871).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang Dictionary

ringer definition


  1. n.
    the obvious choice; the one identical to the one you have; the best match; the best match for one's needs; the most likely choice. (See also (dead) ringer (for (so) ).) : That's the best horse racing today. It's a ringer if I ever saw. one.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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(dead) ringer (for (so)) definition


  1. n.
    someone who is an exact duplicate of someone else. (Here dead means absolute. See also ringer.) : You are sure a dead ringer for my brother.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
One nominee was a ringer tossed in by the fossil of the pack in a fit of mischief.
They can sense when they are reaching their breaking point, and they know when to take a walk or turn off the ringer.
Slang
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