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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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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]
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 someoneINFORMAL
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.
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.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer