ru·​in·​ous | \ ˈrü-ə-nəs How to pronounce ruinous (audio) \

Definition of ruinous

2 : causing or tending to cause ruin

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Other Words from ruinous

ruinously adverb
ruinousness noun

Examples of ruinous in a Sentence

The house has fallen into a ruinous state. a ruinous miscalculation of the financial markets left them bankrupt
Recent Examples on the Web Athletic departments are so dependent on football that any delay, interruption or revenue shortfall can carry ruinous ripples. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "College football should consider punting its season until the spring," 2 July 2020 The key to avoiding massive, economically ruinous lockdowns is effective testing, isolation, and contact tracing to control viral spread. Ezekiel J. Emanuel, Cathy Zhang, STAT, "Learning from Taiwan about responding to Covid-19 — and using electronic health records," 30 June 2020 Peet’s season 2 goes much bigger, questioning how society uses metaphorical silk ties to trap women in ruinous situations. Ariana Romero,, "Gaslighting, A “Snapped” Woman, & A Smashed Car — Amanda Peet Takes You Inside Dirty John Season 2," 3 June 2020 But in economic terms the crisis has been ruinous for Geneva’s underclass — the unauthorized and underpaid workers often forgotten about in a city better known for bankers, watchmakers, and UN officials. Laetitia Vancon,, "A mile-long line for free food in Geneva, one of world’s richest cities," 30 May 2020 The great error in our present-day understanding of war stems from our inability or unwillingness to confront the ruinous role that war has played in corrupting and trivializing our politics. Andrew J. Bacevich, The New Republic, "Will 2020 Finally Kill America’s War Fetish?," 9 June 2020 There are now a lot of high-mileage cars being driven by people for whom even a minor repair bill could be ruinous. Jason M. Vaughn, Car and Driver, "A 260,000-Mile Subaru Fueled by Hope: The Fear of Failure," 23 May 2020 Either way, the Diamondbacks are not in a position in which either outcome would be ruinous. Nick Piecoro, azcentral, "D-Backs' GM Mike Hazen on missing baseball: ‘Hard to imagine what would have been’," 2 May 2020 Because while such a conflict would be difficult, ugly and potential ruinous for all sides, there is no reason to suspect that Beijing would be in any better a position in five or ten years from now, and may be in a worse one. James Griffiths, CNN, "In Hong Kong and beyond, China moves to consolidate position of strength as country emerges from pandemic," 27 May 2020

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

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First Known Use of ruinous

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for ruinous

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The first known use of ruinous was in the 14th century

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Statistics for ruinous

Last Updated

10 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ruinous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Jul. 2020.

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How to pronounce ruinous (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of ruinous

: causing or likely to cause damage or destruction
: costing far too much money
chiefly British, formal : falling apart : badly damaged


ru·​in·​ous | \ ˈrü-ə-nəs How to pronounce ruinous (audio) \

Kids Definition of ruinous

: causing or likely to cause collapse or destruction a ruinous war

Other Words from ruinous

ruinously adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on ruinous

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ruinous

Spanish Central: Translation of ruinous

Nglish: Translation of ruinous for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ruinous for Arabic Speakers

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