Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
ringleader (plural ringleaders)
- A leader of a group of people, especially an unofficial group.
- A person who starts and leads a disturbance (such as a riot), a conspiracy, or a criminal gang.
- The police arrested the ringleaders of the smuggling operation.
- 1590, William Shakespeare, King Henry VI, Part 2
- A sort of naughty persons, lewdly bent, / Under the countenance and confederacy / Of Lady Eleanor, the protector's wife, / The ringleader and head of all this rout, / Have practis'd dangerously against your state...
leader of a group of people, especially an unofficial group