Definition for RU'IN

RU'IN, n. [Fr. ruine, from L. and Sp. ruina; It. ruina and rovina; from L. ruo, to fall, to rush down; W. rhewin, a sudden glide, slip or fall, ruin; rhew, something slippery or smooth, ice, frost; rheu, to move or be active; rhêb, a running off; rhêbyz, a destroyer. Perhaps the latter words are of a different family.]

  1. Destruction; fall; overthrow; defeat; that change of any thing which destroys it, or entirely defeats its object, or unfits it for use; as, the ruin of a house; the ruin of a ship or an army; the ruin of a constitution of government; the ruin of health; the ruin of commerce; the ruin of public or private happiness; the ruin of a project.
  2. Mischief; bane; that which destroys. The errors of young men are the ruin of business. – Bacon.
  3. Ruin, more generally ruins, the remains of a decayed or demolished city, house, fortress, or any work of art or other thing; as, the ruins of Balbec, Palmyra or Persepolis; the ruins of a wall; a castle in ruins. The labor of a day will not build up a virtuous habit on the ruins of an old and vicious character. – Buckminster.
  4. The decayed or enfeebled remains of a natural object; as, the venerable old man presents a great mind in ruins.
  5. The cause of destruction. They were the ruin of him and of all Israel. – 2 Chron. xxviii.

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