Other forms: ruined; ruins; ruining

To ruin means to wreck or destroy. If you're wearing a long dress, make sure your clumsy brother stays away from you. If he steps on it, it'll rip and be ruined.

Bad news always ruins your day and a guest's bad behavior can really ruin a party and all your fun! Be careful when adding salt to your food — too much will ruin it. Often you will see ruin used as a noun that means the state of ruin, the action that causes it or the destruction itself. If you are a ruin of your former self, you're in pretty bad shape. Use ruins for the remains of old castles and Roman structures.

Definitions of ruin
  1. noun
    an irrecoverable state of devastation and destruction
    “you have brought ruin on this entire family”
    synonyms: ruination
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    type of:
    desolation, devastation
    the state of being decayed or destroyed
  2. noun
    the process of becoming dilapidated
    synonyms: dilapidation
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    type of:
    the process of gradually becoming inferior
  3. noun
    destruction achieved by causing something to be wrecked or ruined
    synonyms: laying waste, ruination, ruining, wrecking
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    type of:
    destruction, devastation
    the termination of something by causing so much damage to it that it cannot be repaired or no longer exists
  4. noun
    an event that results in destruction
    synonyms: ruination
    see moresee less
    desolation, devastation
    an event that results in total destruction
    an irretrievable loss
    type of:
    demolition, destruction, wipeout
    an event (or the result of an event) that completely destroys something
  5. noun
    failure that results in a loss of position or reputation
    synonyms: downfall, ruination
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    the downfall of someone (as of persons on one side of a conflict)
    type of:
    an event that does not accomplish its intended purpose
  6. noun
    a ruined building
    “they explored several Roman ruins
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    type of:
    building, edifice
    a structure that has a roof and walls and stands more or less permanently in one place
  7. verb
    destroy or cause to fail
    “This behavior will ruin your chances of winning the election”
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    cause the ruin or downfall of
    cause the failure or ruin of
    ruin utterly
    type of:
    baffle, bilk, confound, cross, foil, frustrate, queer, scotch, scuttle, spoil, thwart
    hinder or prevent (the efforts, plans, or desires) of
  8. verb
    destroy completely; damage irreparably
    “You have ruined my car by pouring sugar in the tank!”
    “The tears ruined her make-up”
    synonyms: destroy
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    burn, burn down, fire
    destroy by fire
    desolate, devastate, lay waste to, ravage, scourge, waste
    cause extensive destruction or ruin utterly
    harry, ravage
    make a pillaging or destructive raid on (a place), as in wartimes
    find a flaw in
    break, bust
    ruin completely
    vandalise, vandalize
    destroy wantonly, as through acts of vandalism
    do a job on
    destroy completely or make ugly or useless
    overthrow or destroy completely
    overcome or destroy
    destroy completely
    despoil, plunder, rape, spoil, violate
    destroy and strip of its possession
    destroy by exploding
    destroy completely
    destroy a ship
    bust up, wrack, wreck
    smash or break forcefully
    kick down, kick in
    open violently
    wash out
    wear or destroy by the force of water
    set a controlled fire to halt an advancing forest or prairie fire
    reduce to ashes
    burn maliciously, as by arson
    scathe, scorch
    destroy completely by or as if by fire
    break down
    cause to fall or collapse
    vandalize a car by scratching the sides with a key
  9. verb
    reduce to ruins
    “The country lay ruined after the war”
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    type of:
    desolate, devastate, lay waste to, ravage, scourge, waste
    cause extensive destruction or ruin utterly
  10. verb
    fall into ruin
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    type of:
    crumble, decay, dilapidate
    fall into decay or ruin
  11. verb
    reduce to bankruptcy
    synonyms: bankrupt, break, smash
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    type of:
    make poor




DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘ruin'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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