dead ringer

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dead ringer

A person or thing that bears a strong resemblance to someone or something else. Susie was such a dead ringer for Kate Winslet that sometimes people would ask her for her autograph.
See also: dead, ringer
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

dead ringer

A person or thing that closely resembles another; an exact counterpart. For example, Brian's a dead ringer for his Dad, or That red bike is a dead ringer for Mary's. [Late 1800s]
See also: dead, ringer
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

a dead ringer for someone

INFORMAL
COMMON If you say that one person is a dead ringer for another, you mean that the first person looks or sounds exactly like the second. He's tall, dark and a dead-ringer for Robert Pattinson. Kovic is extraordinary in one respect: he's a dead ringer for the former US President. Note: The word `ringer' may originally have come from a name for dishonest traders at fairs who sold brass rings, pretending they were gold. In American horse racing, a `ringer' is a horse that has been dishonestly substituted for another in a race.
See also: dead, ringer, someone
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

a dead ˈringer for somebody

(informal) a person who looks extremely like somebody else: She’s a dead ringer for her mother.A ringer was a person or thing that pretended to be another person or thing. In horse racing for example, a ringer was a horse that was substituted for another in order to cheat in a race.
See also: dead, ringer, somebody
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

dead ringer

verb
See also: dead, ringer
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

dead ringer

A person or object that exactly resembles another, an exact counterpart in appearance. The usage of “ringer” for look-alike has been around since the late 1800s, when it was used for a horse that was fraudulently substituted for another in a race. It also was applied to the person who made such a substitution, but this usage has died out. However, in 1891 the term was made more emphatic with the addition of “dead,” here used in the sense of “exact,” as it is in dead heat for an exact tie.
See also: dead, ringer
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
With Dead Ringers, though, he has slowed the pace and cut way back on the corporeal disgust, risking everything on the power of a metaphor.
Cherie Blair also made an appearance offering to sell the contents of 10 Downing Street to the highest bidder before she moved out and the Dead Ringers team even managed to fit in a quick jibe at Davina McCall presenting the British Television Academy Awards over on ITV at the same time.
'It's the mad intensity that makes US politics so much fun,' explains Dead Ringers writer Nev Fountain.
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'I remember Nick Ross and Fiona Bruce saying, 'At least we made it on to Dead Ringers'.
The 34-year-old impressionist, who can be seen playing George Bush, Michael Parkinson and Robbie Williams in BBC Two's Dead Ringers, made the national headlines in 1998 when he fooled the Downing Street switchboard after he adopted Hague's Yorkshire brogue.
After all, this is the man who brought us The Brood, Videodrome, Scanners and Dead Ringers. Here, the teleportation experiments of scientist Seth Brundell (Jeff Goldblum) go wrong when his genes are spliced with a house fly causing him to gradually mutate1/4
Playthings, of course, are supposed to be utterly safe, straight, and happy, whereas Oppenheim is sort of like the character in David Cronenberg's Dead Ringers who makes gynecological instruments too insane to be properly functional: he starts out with a playful idea, but pushes it to such an extreme that it comes off as dangerous, twisted, or creepy.
NORA Sands - the Irish cook with the unfor- gettable "foghorn voice" - has been immortalised in the BBC TV comic impersonation series Dead Ringers.
THE stars of award-winning comedy hit Dead Ringers are coming to Coventry for a live on-stage recording on the show.
The TV star of BBC's Dead Ringers has been chosen to officially open the women's and children's Unit.
Kevin Connelly, star of the BBC series Dead Ringers, was guest speaker at the event and was auctioneer, with guests bidding for everything from a Bruce Oldfield jumper to a designer diamond ring.
Easily his best film since Dead Ringers (1988), Spider features some of the most accomplished acting ever seen in a Canadian film, including an absolutely riveting three-character performance by Miranda Richardson.
Rasps: I HAVE a very low opinion of Dead Ringers, as Jon Culshaw, left, and the rest of the cast make a mockery of everyone and everything they impersonate.