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Definition of ringleader:

  1. 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.
  2. The leader of a circle of dancers; hence, the leader of a number of persons acting together; the leader of a herd of animals.

Synonyms:

demagogue, agitator, rabble-rouser, instigator.

Usage examples: