Dictionary.com

ruin

[ roo-in ]
/ ˈru ɪn /
Save This Word!
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.

QUIZZES

QUIZ YOURSELF ON AFFECT VS. EFFECT!

In effect, this quiz will prove whether or not you have the skills to know the difference between “affect” and “effect.”
Question 1 of 7
The rainy weather could not ________ my elated spirits on my graduation day.

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
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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021
  • 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

ruinable, adjectiveruiner, noun
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

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.
Learning At Home Just Got Easier!