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 Even more ruinous to the state GOP was Proposition 187, the landmark 1994 ballot initiative that sought to make life miserable for immigrants without legal status. Gustavo Arellano, Los Angeles Times, "Column: In recall of governor, is California GOP smoking an exploding cigar?," 2 Apr. 2021 Dee got clean in 2015 after a ruinous incident on tour left her hospitalized. Stephanie Mendez, Los Angeles Times, "Sidewalk Project artists mask up and hit skid row. ‘Since COVID, we haven’t slowed down’," 23 Mar. 2021 In an illuminating and troubling tweet thread and Substack post, Bloomberg economic columnist Noah Smith admitted that the U.S. is running a risk of inflation — and potentially even ruinous hyperinflation — from its spending habits. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "Biden Unbound," 11 Mar. 2021 Familiarity has bred alarm: the book feels, in 2021, more potent, more pernicious, less of a riotous highball and more of a ruinous opioid. Stacy Schiff, The New Yorker, "Véra Nabokov Was the First and Greatest Champion of “Lolita”," 5 Mar. 2021 President Richard Nixon stopped canal work in the 1970s as ruinous for Florida’s environment and environmentalists have fought since then for the dam’s removal. Kevin Spear,, "Ocklawaha advocates launch big ask for Gov. DeSantis: Authorize river’s restoration," 5 Mar. 2021 The coronavirus was good for some industries and ruinous for others. Will Yakowicz, Forbes, "U.S. Cannabis Sales Hit Record $17.5 Billion As Americans Consume More Marijuana Than Ever Before," 3 Mar. 2021 Lennie, alas, did not reciprocate Danny's affections but is in love with Alexander, another of the ruinous yearnings that mark the novel. Katherine A. Powers Washington Post, Star Tribune, "Audiobooks: Tales of deception, suspense – and some history," 19 Feb. 2021 For millions of working women, the coronavirus pandemic has delivered a rare and ruinous one-two-three punch. Patricia Cohen, New York Times, "Recession With a Difference: Women Face Special Burden," 17 Nov. 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

6 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ruinous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for ruinous



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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Comments on ruinous

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