ruin definition, meaning - what is ruin in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online

Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “ruin”

See all translations


verb [T] uk   us   /ˈruː.ɪn/
B2 to spoil or destroy something severely or completely: Huge modern hotels have ruined this once unspoilt coastline. Her injury ruined her chances of winning the race. to cause a person or company to lose all their money or their reputation: Cheap imported goods are ruining many businesses. If there's a scandal I'll be ruined!
More examples


noun uk   us   /ˈruː.ɪn/
[U] the process or state of being spoiled or destroyed: The car accident meant the ruin of all her hopes. They let the palace fall into ruin.C2 [U] a situation in which a person or company has lost all their money or their reputation: Many companies are on the edge/brink/verge of ruin. Alcohol was my ruin (= the thing that spoiled my life)B1 [C] the broken parts that are left from an old building or town: We visited a Roman ruin. the ruins of the ancient city of Carthagebe/lie in ruins (of a building or city) to be extremely badly damaged so that most of it has fallen down: The town lay in ruins after years of bombing. C1 to be in an extremely bad state: The economy was in ruins after the war.
(Definition of ruin from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of ruin?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “ruin” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

cup tie

a game between two teams trying to win a cup (= prize), especially in football

Word of the Day

What’s All The Commotion About? (Words to describe sounds)

by Kate Woodford,
May 20, 2015
​​​ In this post we look at a range of words and phrases that we use to describe noise and the absence of noise. Starting with complete quiet, we sometimes use the noun hush to describe silence: A hush fell over the room as the bride walked in./There was a deathly hush (=complete

Read More 

ancestral health noun

May 25, 2015
diet based on the presumed diet of our Palaeolithic ancestors ‘Ancestral health,’ to use a term popular among Paleo followers, has gone mass.

Read More