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From ring +‎ -let. Compare Middle English ryngyl, ryngyll, rengel (ringlet).


ringlet (plural ringlets)

  1. A small ring.
  2. A lock, tress.
    Her hair was in ringlets.
    • 1900 May 17, L[yman] Frank Baum, chapter 23, in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Chicago, Ill., New York, N.Y.: Geo[rge] M. Hill Co., →OCLC:
      She was both beautiful and young to their eyes. Her hair was a rich red in color and fell in flowing ringlets over her shoulders. Her dress was pure white but her eyes were blue, and they looked kindly upon the little girl.
  3. (entomology) Any of various butterflies with small rings on the wings, in the tribe Satyrini of the family Nymphalidae, such as Aphantopus hyperantus.

Derived terms[edit]



ringlet (third-person singular simple present ringlets, present participle ringleting, simple past and past participle ringleted)

  1. (transitive) To form into ringlets.
    • 1877, Ella Farman, Good-for-nothing Polly, page 163:
      "It's very becoming!" said Pollie coaxingly, taking his curly head, which she had been brushing and ringleting for the last half hour, all damp, into her arms.
  2. (transitive) To surround or encircle like a ringlet.
    • 1980, Stephen King, The Mist:
      I think now that if it had gripped me with those suckers, I would have gone out into the mist too. But it didn't. It grabbed Norm. And the third tentacle ringleted his other ankle. Now he was being pulled away from me.




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  1. second-person plural subjunctive I of ringeln