• (RP) IPA: /ˈɹu.ɪn/
  • (GA) IPA: /ˈɹu.ɪn/


  1. (countable, sometimes, in the plural) The remains of a destroyed or dilapidated construction, such as a house or castle.
    • 1705 (revised 1718), Joseph Addison, Remarks on Several Parts of Italy
      The Veian and the Gabian towirs shall fall, / And one promiscuous ruin cover all; / Nor, after length of years, a stone betray / The place where once the very ruins lay.
    • The labour of a day will not build up a virtuous habit on the ruins of an old and vicious character.
  2. (uncountable) The state of being a ruin, destroyed or decayed.
    The monastery has fallen into ruin.
  3. (uncountable) Something that leads to serious trouble or destruction.
    Gambling has been the ruin of many.
    • 1625, Francis Bacon, Of Youth and Age
      The errors of young men are the ruin of business.
    • 1920, Mary Roberts Rinehart; Avery Hopwood, chapter I, in The Bat: A Novel from the Play (Dell Book; 241), New York, N.Y.: Dell Publishing Company, OCLC 20230794 ↗, [;view=1up;seq=5 page 01]:
      The Bat—they called him the Bat. […]. He […] played a lone hand, […]. Most lone wolves had a moll at any rate—women were their ruin—but if the Bat had a moll, not even the grapevine telegraph could locate her.
  4. (obsolete) A fall or tumble.
    • His ruin startled the other steeds.
  5. A change that destroys or defeats something; destruction; overthrow.
    the ruin of a ship or an army;  the ruin of a constitution or a government;  the ruin of health or hopes
    • Ruin seize thee, ruthless king!
  6. (uncountable) Complete financial loss; bankruptcy.
Translations Translations Translations Verb

ruin (ruins, present participle ruining; past and past participle ruined)

  1. (transitive) To cause the fiscal ruin of.
    With all these purchases, you surely mean to ruin us!
    • 1883, Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island
      In one way, indeed, he bade fair to ruin us; for he kept on staying week after week, and at last month after month, so that all the money had been long exhausted...
  2. To destroy or make something no longer usable.
    He ruined his new white slacks by accidentally spilling oil on them.
    • By the fireside there are old men seated, / Seeling ruined cities in the ashes.
  3. To cause severe financial loss to; to bankrupt or drive out of business.
    The crooked stockbroker's fraudulent scheme ruined dozens of victims; some investors lost their life savings and even their houses.
  4. To upset or overturn the plans or progress of, or to have a disastrous effect on something.
    My car breaking down just as I was on the road ruined my vacation.
  5. To make something less enjoyable or likeable.
    I used to love that song, but being assaulted when that song was playing ruined the song for me.
  6. To reveal the ending of (a story); to spoil.
  7. (obsolete) To fall into a state of decay.
    • Though he his house of polisht marble build, / Yet shall it ruine like the Moth's fraile cell
  8. (transitive, historical) To seduce or debauch, and thus harm the social standing of.
    The young libertine was notorious for ruining local girls.
Synonyms Antonyms Related terms Translations Translations Translations

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