Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.
1. Literally, a front-row seat next to a boxing ring (thought to be the best place to watch the match). Wow, you got ringside seats to that fight? They must have cost thousands!
2. By extension, a place in close proximity to a certain situation or event. I unexpectedly had a ringside seat when a fight broke out at the bar. Living near this forest my whole life, I've had a ringside seat to witness the change in the population of birds.
A place providing a close view of something, as in We lived right next door, so we had ringside seats for their quarrels. This term presumably came from boxing, where it denotes the seats just outside the boxing ring. [c. 1860]
a ringside seator
a ringside view
If you have a ringside seat or a ringside view, you have an excellent and clear view of what is happening somewhere. From this hotel, you get a ringside seat at the volcano's performance. The first US presidential election for which I had a ringside seat was that which brought John F. Kennedy to office over 30 years ago. Note: In boxing, the ringside seats are the seats that are closest to the ring and have the best view.