Date: 1300-1400
Language: Old French
Origin: ruine, from Latin ruina


2 noun
1 [uncountable] a situation in which you have lost all your money, your social position, or the good opinion that people had about you:
small businesses facing financial ruin
be on the road to ruin (=be doing something that will make you lose your money, position etc)
2 [countable] also ruins the part of a building that is left after the rest has been destroyed:
an interesting old ruin
the ruins of a bombed-out office block

the ruins of something

the parts of something such as an organization, system, or set of ideas that remain after the rest have been destroyed:
the ruins of a government that once held so much promise

be/lie in ruins

a) TBB if a building is in ruins, it has fallen down or been badly damaged
b) if someone's life, a country's economy etc is in ruins, it is affected by very great problems:
Her marriage was in ruins.

fall into ruin

also go to ruin if something goes to ruin, it gets damaged or destroyed because no one is taking care of it:
He had let the farm go to ruin.

be the ruin of somebody

to make someone lose all their money, their good health, the good opinion that other people have of them etc:
Drinking was the ruin of him.

➔ go to rack and ruin

at rack1 (4)

Dictionary results for "ruin"
Dictionary pictures of the day
Do you know what each of these is called?
What is the word for picture 1? What is the word for picture 2? What is the word for picture 3? What is the word for picture 4?
Click on any of the pictures above to find out what it is called.