- ruins, the remains of a building, city, etc., that has been destroyed or that is in disrepair or a state of decay: We visited the ruins of ancient Greece.
- a destroyed or decayed building, town, etc.
- a fallen, wrecked, or decayed condition: The building fell to ruin.
- the downfall, decay, or destruction of anything.
- the complete loss of health, means, position, hope, or the like.
- something that causes a downfall or destruction; blight: Alcohol was his ruin.
- the downfall of a person; undoing: the ruin of Oedipus.
- a person as the wreck of his or her former self; ravaged individual.
- the act of causing destruction or a downfall.
- to reduce to ruin; devastate.
- to bring (a person, company, etc.) to financial ruin; bankrupt.
- to injure (a thing) irretrievably.
- to induce (a woman) to surrender her virginity; deflower.
- to fall into ruins; fall to pieces.
- to come to ruin.
Origin of ruin
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for ruin
No, you are going to ruin any chance you have and give us a bad name.The Resurrection of Kristen Stewart
October 11, 2014
As the abuse escalated, the abusive boyfriend threatened to ruin her career.Harsh Truths About Domestic Violence: Why Voicing Terrible Experiences Can Help Others
September 20, 2014
It is, in fact, because it did not ruin her career that Perry has been indicted.
Her arms strapped back, Lehmberg tells the officials “this erratic behavior is going to ruin my career.”
Knowing the bigger ending—that the world is going to end at the end no matter what—might ruin the tension for the reader.What Would You Do if the World Was Over?
August 5, 2014
Were all the events of life combining to ruin or to save him?Malbone
Thomas Wentworth Higginson
There is a grandeur in the ruin to be enjoyed, as well as a scene of beauty from its towers.The Grand Old Man
Richard B. Cook
To put it out of your power to ruin yourself is the only way left to prevent your ruin.Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)
Until now there's a man that can squeeze and ruin me any day, and that's Merchant.Way of the Lawless
Well, since rhyming's been my ruin, let me rhyme to the bitter end.Ballads of a Bohemian
Robert W. Service
- destroyed or decayed building or town
- the state or condition of being destroyed or decayed
- loss of wealth, position, etc, or something that causes such loss; downfall
- something that is severely damagedhis life was a ruin
- a person who has suffered a downfall, bankruptcy, etc
- loss of value or usefulness
- archaic loss of her virginity by a woman outside marriage
- (tr) to bring to ruin; destroy
- (tr) to injure or spoilthe town has been ruined with tower blocks
- (intr) archaic, or poetic to fall into ruins; collapse
Word Origin and History for ruin
late 14c., "act of giving way and falling down," from Old French ruine "a collapse" (14c.), and directly from Latin ruina "a collapse, a rushing down, a tumbling down" (cf. Spanish ruina, Italian rovina), related to ruere "to rush, fall violently, collapse," from PIE *reue- "to smash, knock down, tear out, dig up" (see rough (adj.)). Meaning "complete destruction of anything" is from 1670s. Ruins "remains of a decayed building or town" is from mid-15c.; the same sense was in the Latin plural noun.
1580s (transitive), from ruin (n.). Intransitive sense "fall into ruin" is from c.1600. Financial sense is attested from 1660. Related: Ruined; ruining.
Idioms and Phrases with ruin
see rack and ruin.