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1. The act of ruining or the condition of being ruined.
2. A cause of ruin.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. the act of ruining or the state of being ruined
2. something that causes ruin
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˌru əˈneɪ ʃən)

1. the act of ruining or the state of being ruined.
2. something that ruins.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.



(See also THWARTING.)

cut the ground from under To disprove or invalidate someone’s argument, case, position, etc., by demonstrating that it has no foundation in fact; to devastate someone by destroying his belief in an idea or his faith in a person. In this expression, ground is what supports a person or his perceptions, whatever sustains him or informs his life.

flub the dub To ruin one’s own chances of success by inept or evasive behavior; to think or act awkwardly, inefficiently, or slowly; to be slothful and indolent; to blunder or bungle. This expression enjoyed limited popularity during World War II, but flub has remained in fairly widespread contemporary use. Related expressions are flubdub ‘pompous bombastic language inappropriate to a situation’ and flubadub ‘awkwardness, ineptitude.’ It is interesting to note that Flubadub was the name of the awkward, bumbling, nondescript circus animal (puppet) in the original Howdy Doody Show (1947-60).

Maybe Mike Todd or [Milton] Berle should take over the management of the conventions…. They would remove much of the amateur flub-dub. (Daily Mirror, July 8, 1952)

gum up the works To botch or mess things up, to screw things up; to spoil or ruin, to interfere with the smooth operation of things; also to gum or gum up and to gum the game. The allusion is to the clogging effect gum or a gummy substance has on machinery. The figurative use of this American slang expression dates from at least 1901.

When it comes to you horning into this joint and aiming to gum the works for me … well, that’s something else again. (P. G. Wodehouse, Hot Water, 1932)

knock for six To demolish an argument or defeat an opponent utterly and completely; to knock for a loop or into a cocked hat. This primarily British expression derives from cricket; a batsman knocks for six when he knocks the ball over the boundary of the field and scores six runs. The feat is similar to hitting a homerun in baseball, a game more familiar to Americans.

knock into a cocked hat To demolish or defeat utterly; to destroy, upset, or ruin. Though it may refer to actual physical combat, the expression is more often used in reference to plans, arguments, theories, etc. Most sources agree it derives from a game similar to ninepins, popular in the United States in the 19th century. When only the three pins forming a triangle were left standing, they were said to have been “knocked into a cocked hat”—by analogy with the shape of the tricornered, brimmed hat worn during the American Revolution.

A frigate of the modern type would knock a fort armed with obsolete guns into a cocked hat. (Pall Mall Gazette, January, 1888)

make mincemeat of To destroy or annihilate; to beat in a contest. This expression, dating from the 17th century, can be used in referring to actual physical destruction or to the destruction of a person’s ideas or theories.

I’ll hew thee into so many Morsels, that … Thou shalt be Mince-meat, Worm, within this Hour. (Abraham Cowley, Cutter of Colman-street, 1663)

The use referring to beating an opponent in a contest seems to be a later development, appearing in print by the mid-19th century.

Maniac made mincemeat of Smoker, who was so stiff that he could scarcely raise a gallop. (Coursing Calendar, 1876)

An equivalent slang expression is make hamburger out of, an Americanism which applies almost exclusively to severe physical beating or thrashing.

pull the rug out from under To cut the ground from under someone; to suddenly and effectively shatter another’s position, argument, or belief by demonstrating its invalidity; to deflate someone by destroying his illusions.

But if … Bazargan were to quit, authority in Iran would apparently rest solely with the Komiteh, the mullahs and other fervent Shi’ites whose grab for power has literally pulled the Persian rug out from under Bazargan’s regime. (Time, March, 1979)

upset the applecart To ruin plans or arrangements, to botch things up, to spoil things, to blight someone’s hopes. An applecart is a pushcart street vendors use to peddle apples. For a huckster who makes his living selling apples, the overturning of his cart would be disastrous since it would inevitably damage the fruit and thus ruin his business. A variant of the expression dates from at least 1788.

If the Control had done more it might have upset the apple-cart altogether. (Pall Mall Gazette, October, 1883)

Picturesque Expressions: A Thematic Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1980 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.ruination - an irrecoverable state of devastation and destructionruination - an irrecoverable state of devastation and destruction; "you have brought ruin on this entire family"
desolation, devastation - the state of being decayed or destroyed
2.ruination - an event that results in destruction
demolition, wipeout, destruction - an event (or the result of an event) that completely destroys something
devastation, desolation - an event that results in total destruction
shipwreck - an irretrievable loss; "that was the shipwreck of their romance"
3.ruination - failure that results in a loss of position or reputationruination - failure that results in a loss of position or reputation
failure - an event that does not accomplish its intended purpose; "the surprise party was a complete failure"
finish - the downfall of someone (as of persons on one side of a conflict); "booze will be the finish of him"; "it was a fight to the finish"
4.ruination - destruction achieved by causing something to be wrecked or ruinedruination - destruction achieved by causing something to be wrecked or ruined
destruction, devastation - the termination of something by causing so much damage to it that it cannot be repaired or no longer exists
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. The act of destroying or state of being destroyed:
2. Something that causes total loss or severe impairment, as of one's health, fortune, honor, or hopes:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
eyîilegging; gjaldòrot
harap etmemahvetme


[ˌruːɪˈneɪʃən] Nruina f, perdición f
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


n (of building, hopes)Zerstörung f; (of reputation, health, sb’s life also, of person)Ruinierung f; to be the ruination of somebodyjds Ruin msein
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ˌruːɪˈneɪʃn] nrovina
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(ˈruːin) noun
1. a broken, collapsed or decayed state. the ruin of a city.
2. a cause of collapse, decay etc. Drink was his ruin.
3. financial disaster; complete loss of money. The company is facing ruin.
1. to cause ruin to. The scandal ruined his career.
2. to spoil; to treat too indulgently. You are ruining that child!
ˌruiˈnation noun
ˈruined adjective
1. collapsed; decayed. ruined houses.
2. completely spoiled. My dress is ruined!
ˈruins noun plural
collapsed and decayed buildings. the ruins of the castle.
in ruins
in a ruined state. The town lay in ruins.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.