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ruin

[ roo-in ]
/ ˈru ɪn /
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See synonyms for: ruin / ruined / ruining / ruins on Thesaurus.com

noun
verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
to fall into ruins; fall to pieces.
to come to ruin.
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Origin of ruin

First recorded in 1325–75; Middle English noun rueyne, ruyen, from Middle French ruwine, from Latin ruīna “headlong rush, fall, collapse,” equivalent to ruere “to fall” + -īna feminine singular of suffix -īnus ; verb ruyn, ruine, from Middle French ruyner, ruiner or directly from Medieval Latin ruīnāre, derivative of Latin ruīna; see -ine2

synonym study 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. 10. See spoil.

OTHER WORDS FROM ruin

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use ruin in a sentence

  • I would not have kept mine; I would not have let the real ruiner of my uncle escape.

    A Friend of Caesar|William Stearns Davis
  • He is the enemy of conjugal love, and is the Jupiter of the Greeks, an iron-hearted tyrant, the ruiner of ancient Greece.

    William Blake|Irene Langridge

British Dictionary definitions for ruin

ruin
/ (ˈruːɪn) /

noun
verb

Derived forms of ruin

ruinable, 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

Other 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.
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