Meaning of RUIN in English


I. ru ‧ in 1 S3 /ˈruːən, ˈruːɪn/ BrE AmE verb [transitive]

1 . to spoil or destroy something completely:

This illness has ruined my life.

His career would be ruined.

All this mud’s going to ruin my shoes.

2 . to make someone lose all their money:

Jefferson was ruined by the lawsuit.

⇨ ↑ ruined

II. ruin 2 BrE AmE noun

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

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

3 . 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

4 . be/lie in ruins

a) 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.

5 . fall into ruin ( also go to ruin ) if something falls into ruin, it gets damaged or destroyed because no one is taking care of it:

He had let the farm go to ruin.

6 . 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 ↑ rack 1 (4)

• • •


■ adjectives

▪ financial ruin (=when someone loses all or most of their money)

She faces financial ruin after losing the court case.

▪ economic ruin (=when someone loses all their money or when a country loses a lot of its trade, industry, and wealth)

Their policies have been driving this country to economic ruin for the past 13 years.

▪ political ruin

The scandal left the government on the brink of political ruin.

▪ social ruin (=when someone loses their position or rank in society)

In those days, breaking off your engagement could mean social ruin.

■ verbs

▪ face ruin

Many shopkeepers are facing ruin.

▪ mean ruin (=cause ruin for somebody)

They fear that the proposals could mean ruin for small football clubs.

▪ spell ruin (=cause ruin for somebody)

Unwise investment can spell financial ruin.

▪ lead to ruin

This policy could lead to utter ruin.

▪ save somebody from ruin

He believes the invention saved him from financial ruin.

■ phrases

▪ bring ruin on/to somebody (=cause ruin for somebody)

Her behaviour brought ruin on her family.

▪ drive somebody to ruin (=cause ruin for somebody)

Farmers told how foot-and-mouth disease was driving them to ruin.

▪ be on the brink/verge of ruin (=be close to ruin)

The recession could leave many businesses on the brink of ruin.

▪ be on the road to ruin (=be certain to happen at some time in the future)

Is America on the road to ruin?

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.