ruc·​tion ˈrək-shən How to pronounce ruction (audio)
: a noisy fight

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English offers up a scramble of colorful words for what can happen when tempers spill over. For example, we have melee, fracas, donnybrook, ruckus, and one especially for baseball fans, rhubarb. Ruction is rarer than most of these. Etymologists speculate that ruction came to English in the early 19th century as a shortening and alteration of another word suggesting an episode of violence: insurrection. The earliest uses of ruction specifically make reference to the Irish Rebellion of 1798, an uprising against British rule on that island. Ruckus came later, toward the end of the 19th century, and was probably formed by combining ruction with rumpus.

Examples of ruction in a Sentence

the ruction ended with everyone involved getting arrested the ruction outside the door prompted me to investigate what was going on
Recent Examples on the Web The ructions in financial markets were set against the concerning crosscurrent of a brewing financial crisis while damaging inflationary pressures remain. Jason Karaian, New York Times, 15 Mar. 2023 An effort to send MIG’s to Ukraine in collaboration with Slovakia, which also uses the Soviet-era warplanes, also stumbled, largely as a result of Slovak political ructions, which led to a successful no-confidence vote in December against the country’s strongly pro-Ukrainian government. Lara Jakes Lara Jakes Michael Crowley Nick Cumming-Bruce Helene Cooper Matthew Mpoke Bigg Lara Jakes Anushka Patil Lara Jakes Lara Jakes Andrew Higgins Andrew Higgins Marc Santora Andrew Higgins Valerie Hopkins Nick Cumming-Bruce Nick Cumming-Bruce Valerie Hopkins Valerie Hopkins Marc Santora Eric Schmitt Anushka Patil Carly Olson Valerie Hopkins Eric Schmitt Eric Schmitt Matthew Mpoke Bigg, New York Times, 16 Mar. 2023 Realized against considerable early opposition, Sydney Modern was constructed during the pandemic and in the midst of ideological ructions convulsing museums worldwide. Sebastian Smee, Washington Post, 14 Mar. 2023 This week’s lira ruction was caused by Mr. Erdogan’s sacking on Saturday of the head of the central bank. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 23 Mar. 2021 Once again, waspish commentators noted, an American woman has caused a ruction in the royal family. Washington Post, 9 Jan. 2020 Deteriorating finances come at a bad time, however, with ructions in China’s money markets threatening to damp demand for corporate bonds. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, 21 June 2019 The volcano’s ructions escalated on Sunday, prompting the provincial government in Batangas to declare a state of calamity. Washington Post, 13 Jan. 2020 Once again, waspish commentators noted, an American woman has caused a ruction in the British royal family. Danica Kirka, Anchorage Daily News, 9 Jan. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ruction.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


perhaps by shortening & alteration from insurrection

First Known Use

circa 1825, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of ruction was circa 1825


Dictionary Entries Near ruction

Cite this Entry

“Ruction.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


ruc·​tion ˈrək-shən How to pronounce ruction (audio)
: a noisy disturbance : uproar
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