- 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.
- a destroyed or decayed building, town, etc.
- a fallen, wrecked, or decayed condition: The building fell to ruin.
- the downfall, decay, or destruction of anything.
- the complete loss of health, means, position, hope, or the like.
- something that causes a downfall or destruction; blight: Alcohol was his ruin.
- the downfall of a person; undoing: the ruin of Oedipus.
- a person as the wreck of his or her former self; ravaged individual.
- the act of causing destruction or a downfall.
verb (used with object)
- to reduce to ruin; devastate.
- to bring (a person, company, etc.) to financial ruin; bankrupt.
- to injure (a thing) irretrievably.
- to induce (a woman) to surrender her virginity; deflower.
verb (used without object)
- to fall into ruins; fall to pieces.
- to come to ruin.
- badly damaged, decayed, or ruined
- destroyed or decayed building or town
- the state or condition of being destroyed or decayed
- loss of wealth, position, etc, or something that causes such loss; downfall
- something that is severely damagedhis life was a ruin
- a person who has suffered a downfall, bankruptcy, etc
- loss of value or usefulness
- archaic loss of her virginity by a woman outside marriage
- (tr) to bring to ruin; destroy
- (tr) to injure or spoilthe town has been ruined with tower blocks
- (intr) archaic, or poetic to fall into ruins; collapse
late 14c., “act of giving way and falling down,” from Old French ruine “a collapse” (14c.), and directly from Latin ruina “a collapse, a rushing down, a tumbling down” (cf. Spanish ruina, Italian rovina), related to ruere “to rush, fall violently, collapse,” from PIE *reue- “to smash, knock down, tear out, dig up” (see rough (adj.)). Meaning “complete destruction of anything” is from 1670s. Ruins “remains of a decayed building or town” is from mid-15c.; the same sense was in the Latin plural noun.
1580s (transitive), from ruin (n.). Intransitive sense “fall into ruin” is from c.1600. Financial sense is attested from 1660. Related: Ruined; ruining.
see rack and ruin.