Meaning of “ruin” in the English Dictionary

"ruin" in British English

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ruinverb [ T ]

uk /ˈruː.ɪn/ us /ˈruː.ɪn/

B2 to spoil or destroy something 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 good reputation:

Cheap imported goods are ruining many businesses.
If there's a scandal I'll be ruined!

More examples

  • A modern extension on the old building would ruin its architectural integrity.
  • The poor sound quality ruined an otherwise splendid film.
  • Lucy has just ruined her new dress. That's children for you.
  • I think the new extension ruins the proportions of the building.
  • If you scuff your feet like that, you'll ruin your shoes.

ruinnoun

uk /ˈruː.ɪn/ 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 Carthage
be/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 Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"ruin" in American English

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ruinverb [ T ]

us /ˈru·ɪn/

to spoil or destroy something:

It would be a shame to ruin such a beautiful place.
That guy isn’t going to ruin my life.

(Definition of “ruin” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"ruin" in Business English

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ruinverb [ T ]

uk /ˈruːɪn/ us

to spoil something severely or destroy it:

Huge modern hotels are ruining this once unspoilt coastline.
His frequent lateness has ruined his chances for a promotion.

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!

ruinnoun

uk /ˈruːɪn/ us

[ U ] the loss of all your money, your business, or your reputation:

Many workers are one health catastrophe away from financial ruin.
the brink/edge/verge of ruin
be/lie in ruins

a place, building, etc. that is in ruins has been extremely badly damaged:

The showroom was in ruins after the flood.

to have failed or got into an extremely bad state:

The economy was in ruins after the war.
He lied about the company's finances, and now his career is in ruins.

(Definition of “ruin” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)