kidnapping ring


People have been mysteriously disappearing on a stretch of a road, for years. A policemen is asked:
-- So what's the theory?
-- Honestly, we don't know. Serial murder? Kidnapping ring?
Supernatural, TV series

What is "ring" here? Thank you.
  • Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    This is definition 7 of "ring" as a noun in the WRF dictionary: a group working together for illegal purposes. (Kidnapping is probably illegal wherever this takes place.)


    American English
    An organized group of people involved in, in this case, kidnapping.

    You can hear this in a few examples like also "smuggling ring." It implies there's a high level of organization with leaders, people who handle different aspects of this crime, low level workers involved, etc.