Definition of ruin noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈruːɪn//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈruːɪn//
    Historic buildings
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  1. 1  [uncountable] the state or process of being destroyed or severely damaged A large number of churches fell into ruin after the revolution. The house had been left to go to ruin. The terrorist attack had left the city in a state of ruin
  2. 2  [uncountable] the fact of having no money, of having lost your job, position, etc. The divorce ultimately led to his ruin. The bank stepped in to save the company from financial ruin. The war brought the country to the brink of ruin.
  3. 3[singular] something that causes a person, company, etc. to lose all their money, job, position, etc. synonym downfall Gambling was his ruin.
  4. 4  [countable] (also ruins [plural]) the parts of a building that remain after it has been destroyed or severely damaged The old mill is now little more than a ruin. We visited the ruins of a Norman castle. Two bodies were found among the charred ruins of the house. (figurative) He was determined to build a new life out of the ruins of his career. See related entries: Historic buildings
  5. Word OriginMiddle English (in the sense ‘collapse of a building’): from Old French ruine, from Latin ruina, from ruere ‘to fall’.Extra examples Drinking has been the ruin of her. He’s on the road to political ruin. The church now lies in ruins. The company faces ruin over the new road plans. The cost would have meant financial ruin for us. The cottage gradually fell into ruin. The earthquake left the town in ruins. They’ve let the house go to rack and ruin. the ancient ruins of Jericho the charred ruins of their home He said that the plan would be the ruin of European agriculture. It is perhaps the best preserved monastic ruin in the country.Idioms to get into a bad condition They let the house go to rack and ruin. More Like This Alliteration in idioms belt and braces, black and blue, born and bred, chalk and cheese, chop and change, done and dusted, down and dirty, in dribs and drabs, eat somebody out of house and home, facts and figures, fast and furious, first and foremost, forgive and forget, hale and hearty, hem and haw, kith and kin, mix and match, part and parcel, puff and pant, to rack and ruin, rant and rave, risk life and limb, short and sweet, signed and sealed, spic and span, through thick and thin, this and that, top and tail, tried and tested, wax and waneSee worksheet. destroyed or severely damaged Years of fighting have left the area in ruins. The scandal left his reputation in ruins. Their plans for a comeback now lie in ruins.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: ruin