[ roo-in ]
/ ˈru ɪn /
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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: Fate decreed the ruin of Oedipus.
a person as the wreck of their former self; ravaged individual.
the act of causing destruction or a downfall.
verb (used with object)
to reduce to a fallen, wrecked, or decayed condition; devastate.
to bring (a person, company, etc.) to financial destruction; bankrupt.
to damage, spoil, or injure (a thing) irretrievably: Not only was the burned stew inedible, but I had absolutely ruined one of my favorite pots.
Older Use. to induce (a woman) to surrender her virginity; deflower.
verb (used without object)
to fall into decay; fall to pieces.
to come to downfall or destruction.
OTHER WORDS FOR ruin
OPPOSITES FOR ruin
4 construction, creation.
THINGAMABOB OR THINGUMMY: CAN YOU DISTINGUISH BETWEEN THE US AND UK TERMS IN THIS QUIZ?
Do you know the difference between everyday US and UK terminology? Test yourself with this quiz on words that differ across the Atlantic.
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In the UK, COTTON CANDY is more commonly known as…
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 ultimately derivative of the noun;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
ru·in·a·ble, adjectiveru·in·er, nounhalf-ruined, adjectivenon·ru·in·a·ble, adjective
self-ruin, nounself-ruined, adjectiveun·ru·in·a·ble, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
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
/ (ˈruːɪn) /
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
Derived forms of ruinruinable, 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
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.