- 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 for ruin on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for ruining
“I tell them they are ruining their life, but I will not refuse to do it,” Bensoussan said.Saying Yes to the Dress—Behind Bars
December 8, 2014
That is, TFA is neither a lever for dramatically improving or ruining U.S. public education.Stop Scapegoating Teach for America
Conor P. Williams
September 24, 2014
Are we in danger, in the rush to legislate, of ruining the moment?Does California’s College Rape Bill Go Too Far In Regulating Sex?
June 23, 2014
On day two, a flash flood occurred, damaging much of the filmmaking equipment and ruining the appearance of the location.Doomed Passion Projects of Hollywood: The Lost Classics of Stanley Kubrick, Alfred Hitchcock, and More
March 28, 2014
In this case, though, viewers have claimed Chu is ruining the game.How I Taught Arthur Chu to Be the ‘Jeopardy!’ Champ Everyone Loves to Hate
February 21, 2014
The love of temporal dominion was ruining the Church of Rome.Cameos from English History, from Rollo to Edward II
Charlotte Mary Yonge
My aunt Rosine was at Baden-Baden, ruining the whole family with a new "system."My Double Life
We're ruining his paper for him, and when he gets able to read, it'll hurt him bad.The Gentleman From Indiana
The financier is the people, and prevents Chase from ruining the country.Diary from November 12, 1862, to October 18, 1863
You talk glibly of ruining—but then you talk to a groom and lackey.The Historical Nights' Entertainment
- 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 ruining
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 ruining
see rack and ruin.