UK:*UK and possibly other pronunciationsUK and possibly other pronunciations/ˈruːɪn/US:USA pronunciation: IPA and respellingUSA pronuncation: IPA/ˈruɪn/ ,USA pronunciation: respelling(ro̅o̅in)

WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2020
ru•in /ˈruɪn/USA pronunciation   n. 
  1. ruins, [plural] the remains of a building, etc., destroyed or in decay:the ruins of Troy.
  2. a destroyed or decayed building, etc.:[countable]toured the ruin of the apartment house after the earthquake.
  3. a fallen, wrecked, or decayed condition:[uncountable]The house fell into ruin.
  4. the complete loss of health, means, money, etc.:[uncountable]We'd sunk into financial ruin.
  5. something that causes a downfall or destruction:[uncountable]Alcohol was his ruin.

v. [+ object]
  1. to reduce to ruin; destroy:Her smoking is ruining her health.
  2. to bring to financial ruin;
    bankrupt:Another lawsuit like that and I'll be ruined.
ru•in•a•tion /ˌruɪˈneɪʃən/USA pronunciation  n. [uncountable]

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
ru•in  (ro̅o̅in),USA pronunciation n. 
  1. ruins, the remains of a building, city, etc., that has been destroyed or that is in disrepair or a state of decay:We visited the ruins of ancient Greece.
  2. a destroyed or decayed building, town, etc.
  3. a fallen, wrecked, or decayed condition:The building fell to ruin.
  4. the downfall, decay, or destruction of anything.
  5. the complete loss of health, means, position, hope, or the like.
  6. something that causes a downfall or destruction;
    blight:Alcohol was his ruin.
  7. the downfall of a person;
    undoing:the ruin of Oedipus.
  8. a person as the wreck of his or her former self;
    ravaged individual.
  9. the act of causing destruction or a downfall.

  1. to reduce to ruin;
  2. to bring (a person, company, etc.) to financial ruin;
  3. to injure (a thing) irretrievably.
  4. to induce (a woman) to surrender her virginity;

  1. to fall into ruins;
    fall to pieces.
  2. to come to ruin.
ruin•a•ble, adj. 
ruin•er, n. 
  • Medieval Latin ruīnāre, derivative of Latin ruīna
  • Middle French ruiner)
  • Latin ruīna headlong rush, fall, collapse, equivalent. to ru(ere) to fall + -īna -ine2; (verb, verbal) (
  • Middle French
  • (noun, nominal) Middle English ruine 1325–75
    • 3.See corresponding entry in Unabridged Ruin, destruction, havoc imply irrevocable and often widespread damage.
      Destruction may be on a large or small scale (destruction of tissue, of enemy vessels);
      it emphasizes particularly the act of destroying, while
      ruin and
      havoc emphasize the resultant state.
      Ruin, from the verb meaning to fall to pieces, suggests a state of decay or disintegration (or an object in that state) that is apt to be more the result of the natural processes of time and change than of sudden violent activity from without:The house has fallen to ruins.Only in its figurative application is it apt to suggest the result of destruction from without:the ruin of her hopes.Havoc, originally a cry that served as the signal for pillaging, has changed its reference from that of spoliation to devastation, being used particularly of the destruction following in the wake of natural calamities:the havoc wrought by flood and pestilence.Today it is used figuratively to refer to the destruction of hopes and plans:This sudden turn of events played havoc with her carefully laid designs.
    • 4.See corresponding entry in Unabridged fall, overthrow, defeat, wreck.
    • 10.See corresponding entry in Unabridged demolish, destroy, damage. See  spoil. 
    • 4.See corresponding entry in Unabridged construction, creation.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
ruin /ˈruːɪn/ n
  1. destroyed or decayed building or town
  2. the state or condition of being destroyed or decayed
  3. loss of wealth, position, etc, or something that causes such loss; downfall
  4. something that is severely damaged: his life was a ruin
  5. a person who has suffered a downfall, bankruptcy, etc
  6. archaic loss of her virginity by a woman outside marriage
  1. (transitive) to bring to ruin; destroy
  2. (transitive) to injure or spoil: the town has been ruined with tower blocks
  3. (intransitive) archaic or poetic to fall into ruins; collapse
Etymology: 14th Century: from Old French ruine, from Latin ruīna a falling down, from ruere to fall violently
'ruin' also found in these entries:

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