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 templethe 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 resounds William Wordsworth
5
: a cause of destruction

Example Sentences

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
When done correctly, eyebrow tints will not ruin your eyebrows. Sophie Dweck, Town & Country, 8 Nov. 2022 And hopefully, Sony will not ruin that magic by going too fast with its SSU plans. Chris Smith, BGR, 7 Nov. 2022 According to dentists, stained natural teeth can ruin opportunities— and even our quality of life. Iron Monk Solutions, The Salt Lake Tribune, 7 Nov. 2022 This will ruin Game of Thrones but will make The Purge adorable. WIRED, 3 Nov. 2022 An economic downturn could ruin the party for refiners, of course. Jinjoo Lee, WSJ, 1 Nov. 2022 Here’s a list of safe options that will charge your phone safely. Be careful with power banks Just like with cheap chargers, cheap power banks can ruin your battery over time. Kim Komando, USA TODAY, 30 Oct. 2022 And trying to force fun on command can ruin the point, which is to do something pointless. Faith Hill, The Atlantic, 28 Oct. 2022 Dip powder itself won't ruin your nails, but scraping and picking the manicure off will. Shanon Maglente, Good Housekeeping, 27 Oct. 2022
Noun
Her Abbeville home had been rescued from ruin in 2004 by a couple from Lafayette: Lauren Daspit and her husband, Steve Montgomery. Seth Schwartz, WSJ, 26 Oct. 2022 There is an omnipresent fear that families are one healthcare issue away from financial ruin. Jack Kelly, Forbes, 10 Oct. 2022 Set in 13th century England, the story follows a teenage girl (Bella Ramsey) who is trying to avoid being married off by her father (Andrew Scott) to save him and their family from financial ruin. Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times, 23 Sep. 2022 The vast sums of cash that spared some families from financial ruin also attracted sophisticated criminal networks. Washington Post Staff, Washington Post, 8 Sep. 2022 Years later, first lady Dolley Madison saved Gilbert Stuart's portrait of Washington from almost certain ruin. CBS News, 2 Sep. 2022 Years later, first lady Dolley Madison saved Gilbert Stuart’s portrait of Washington from almost certain ruin. Darlene Superville, Chicago Tribune, 2 Sep. 2022 But in the 1980s, Roland Lewis got a call from his mother to come home and save the ranch from ruin. Richard Conniff, Smithsonian Magazine, 24 Aug. 2022 The reason, Anderson explains, is that even though Zynteglo might be cost-effective over the long term and from a social perspective even at $2.8 million, the one-year charge for it can bring ruin to an insurer’s profit-and-loss statement. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 9 Sep. 2022 See More

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.

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 28 Nov. 2022.

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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