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noun ru·in \ˈrü-ən, -ˌin; ˈrün\

Simple Definition of ruin

  • : a state of complete destruction : a state of being ruined

  • : the remaining pieces of something that was destroyed

  • : the state of having lost money, social status, etc.

Full Definition of ruin

  1. 1 a archaic :  a falling down :  collapse <from age to age … the crash of ruin fitfully resounds — William Wordsworth> b :  physical, moral, economic, or social collapse

  2. 2 a :  the state of being ruined —archaic except in plural <the city lay in ruins> b :  the remains of something destroyed —usually used in plural <the ruins of an ancient temple> <the ruins of his life>

  3. 3 :  a cause of destruction

  4. 4 a :  the action of destroying, laying waste, or wrecking b :  damage, injury

  5. 5 :  a ruined building, person, or object

ru·in·ate play \ˈrü-ə-ˌnāt, -nət\ adjective
ruinate \-ˌnāt\ transitive verb

Examples of ruin

  1. The incident led to the ruin of their relationship.

  2. The abandoned town had gone to ruin.

  3. Don't let the house your grandfather built fall into ruin.

  4. The castle is now a ruin.

  5. The drought brought economic ruin to local farmers.

  6. Her drug addiction brought her to the brink of ruin.

Origin of ruin

Middle English ruine, from Anglo-French, from Latin ruina, from ruere to rush headlong, fall, collapse

First Known Use: 12th century



verb ru·in

Simple Definition of ruin

  • : to damage (something) so badly that it is no longer useful, valuable, enjoyable, etc. : to spoil or destroy (something)

  • : to cause (someone) to lose money, social status, etc.

Full Definition of ruin

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to reduce to ruins :  devastate

  3. 2 a :  to damage irreparably b :  bankrupt, impoverish <ruined by stock speculation>

  4. 3 :  to subject to frustration, failure, or disaster <will ruin your chances of promotion>

  5. intransitive verb
  6. :  to become ruined

ru·in·er noun

Examples of ruin

  1. The bad weather ruined the party.

  2. I ruined the sauce by adding too much garlic.

  3. His low test scores ruined his chances of getting into a good school.

  4. Poor customer service ruined the company's reputation.

  5. He was ruined by debt.

  6. The scandal ruined the mayor.


First Known Use of ruin


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February 9, 2016

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