1

ruin

noun ru·in \ ˈrü-ən , -ˌin ; ˈrün \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of ruin

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 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 :a cause of destruction
4 a :the action of destroying, laying waste, or wrecking
5 :a ruined building, person, or object

ruinate

play \ˈrü-ə-ˌnāt, -nət\ adjective

ruinate

play \ˈrü-ə-ˌnāt\ transitive verb

Examples of ruin in a Sentence

  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.

Recent Examples of ruin from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ruin.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of ruin

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


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ruin

verb

Definition of ruin

transitive verb
1 :to reduce to ruins :devastate
2 a :to damage irreparably
b :bankrupt, impoverish
  • ruined by stock speculation
3 :to subject to frustration, failure, or disaster
  • will ruin your chances of promotion
intransitive verb
:to become ruined

ruiner

noun

Examples of ruin in a Sentence

  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.

Recent Examples of ruin from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ruin.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of ruin

1572

ruin Synonyms

Synonyms
bankrupt, break, bust
Antonyms
build, construct, erect, put up, raise, rear, set up
Related Words
beggar, impoverish, pauperize; reduce, straiten; clean (out), wipe out
Near Antonyms
enrich, richen


RUIN Defined for English Language Learners

ruin

noun

Definition of ruin for English Language Learners

  • : 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.


ruin

verb

Definition of ruin for English Language Learners

  • : 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.


RUIN Defined for Kids

1

ruin

verb ru·in \ ˈrü-ən \

Definition of ruin for Students

ruined; ruining
1 :to reduce to wreckage
  • a ruined city
2 :to damage beyond repair
  • … “she's … ruined every scrap of clothes she owns.”
  • —Katherine Paterson, Jacob Have I Loved
3 :to have a very bad effect on the quality of (something)
  • Losing my wallet ruined the trip.

2

ruin

noun

Definition of ruin for Students

1 :complete collapse or destruction
2 ruins plural :the remains of something destroyed
  • the ruins of an ancient city
3 :the situation in which someone experiences loss of money, social status, or position
  • They were on the brink of financial ruin.
in ruins
:nearly or completely destroyed
  • Her reputation was in ruins
  • —Richard Peck, A Year Down Yonder


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