ruin

[roo-in]
||

noun

verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

to fall into ruins; fall to pieces.
to come to ruin.

Origin of ruin

1325–75; (noun) Middle English ruine < Middle French < Latin ruīna headlong rush, fall, collapse, equivalent to ru(ere) to fall + -īna -ine2; (v.) (< Middle French ruiner) < Medieval Latin ruīnāre, derivative of Latin ruīna
Related formsru·in·a·ble, adjectiveru·in·er, nounhalf-ru·ined, adjectivenon·ru·in·a·ble, adjectiveself-ru·in, nounself-ru·ined, adjectiveun·ru·in·a·ble, adjective

Synonyms for ruin

3. Ruin, destruction, havoc imply irrevocable and often widespread damage. Destruction may be on a large or small scale ( destruction of tissue, of enemy vessels ); it emphasizes particularly the act of destroying, while ruin and havoc emphasize the resultant state. Ruin, from the verb meaning to fall to pieces, suggests a state of decay or disintegration (or an object in that state) that is apt to be more the result of the natural processes of time and change than of sudden violent activity from without: The house has fallen to ruins. Only in its figurative application is it apt to suggest the result of destruction from without: the ruin of her hopes. Havoc, originally a cry that served as the signal for pillaging, has changed its reference from that of spoliation to devastation, being used particularly of the destruction following in the wake of natural calamities: the havoc wrought by flood and pestilence. Today it is used figuratively to refer to the destruction of hopes and plans: This sudden turn of events played havoc with her carefully laid designs. 4. fall, overthrow, defeat, wreck. 10. demolish, destroy, damage. See spoil.

Antonyms for ruin

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


Examples from the Web for ruin

Contemporary Examples of ruin

Historical Examples of ruin

  • 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)

    Samuel Richardson

  • Until now there's a man that can squeeze and ruin me any day, and that's Merchant.

  • Well, since rhyming's been my ruin, let me rhyme to the bitter end.

    Ballads of a Bohemian

    Robert W. Service


British Dictionary definitions for ruin

ruin

noun

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

verb

(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
Derived Formsruinable, adjectiveruiner, noun

Word Origin for ruin

C14: from Old French ruine, from Latin ruīna a falling down, from ruere to fall violently
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for ruin
n.

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.

v.

1580s (transitive), from ruin (n.). Intransitive sense "fall into ruin" is from c.1600. Financial sense is attested from 1660. Related: Ruined; ruining.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with ruin

ruin

see rack and ruin.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.