ruin

1 of 2

verb

ru·​in ˈrü-ən How to pronounce ruin (audio)
-ˌin;
ˈrün
ruined ˈrü-ənd How to pronounce ruin (audio)
-ˌind;
ˈründ,
dialectal
ˈrü-ənt How to pronounce ruin (audio)
-ˌint;
ˈrünt
; ruining; ruins

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

: to become ruined
ruiner noun

ruin

2 of 2

noun

1
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
2
: a ruined building, person, or object
3
a
: the action of destroying, laying waste, or wrecking
b
4
a
: physical, moral, economic, or social collapse
b
archaic : a falling down : collapse
from age to age … the crash of ruin fitfully resoundsWilliam Wordsworth
5
: a cause of destruction

Examples of ruin in a Sentence

Verb The bad weather ruined the party. I ruined the sauce by adding too much garlic. His low test scores ruined his chances of getting into a good school. Poor customer service ruined the company's reputation. He was ruined by debt. The scandal ruined the mayor. Noun The incident led to the ruin of their relationship. The abandoned town had gone to ruin. Don't let the house your grandfather built fall into ruin. The castle is now a ruin. The drought brought economic ruin to local farmers. Her drug addiction brought her to the brink of ruin.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
However, for some, gambling is an addiction that can ruin lives and families. Tanasia Kenney, Miami Herald, 13 June 2024 The 55 year-old has lived in in East Hollywood for the last 20 years and remembers when a person’s life could be ruined by simply showing their face in a gay establishment. Jireh Deng, Los Angeles Times, 13 June 2024
Noun
Last fall, the team uncovered the ruins of a medieval building, or abbey, used by Benedictine monks in Tomajmonostora, Hungary’s National Institute of Archaeology said in a June 14 Facebook post. Aspen Pflughoeft, Miami Herald, 18 June 2024 No injuries were reported and, so far, no civilians have been found inside the hulking ruins, Heggstrom said. Vincent Medina, Sacramento Bee, 16 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for ruin 

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun

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

First Known Use

Verb

1572, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 3

Noun

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4b

Time Traveler
The first known use of ruin was in the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near ruin

Cite this Entry

“Ruin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ruin. Accessed 22 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

ruin

1 of 2 noun
ru·​in ˈrü-ən How to pronounce ruin (audio)
-ˌin
1
: complete collapse or destruction
2
: the remains of something destroyed
usually used in plural
the ruins of a city

ruin

2 of 2 verb
1
: to reduce to ruins
2
a
: to damage beyond repair
ruiner noun

More from Merriam-Webster on ruin

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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