Definition of ruinous in English:


Pronunciation /ˈro͞oənəs/ /ˈruənəs/


  • 1Disastrous or destructive.

    ‘a ruinous effect on the environment’
    • ‘For their disregard of the ruinous and destructive consequences of a hyperindustrialism without end, is itself a form of aggravated nostalgia.’
    • ‘It also demonstrates that designers and clients don't often see the same thing when they look at a work of graphic design: a request to enlarge a line of type can have a ruinous effect on a layout, but it's rarely a factor that troubles a client.’
    • ‘This sensitive drama about the ruinous effect of poverty on the aspirations of ordinary people works on many levels - as social statement, psychological portrait, and spiritual tragedy.’
    • ‘The ruinous effects of World War I, combined with internal pressures, sparked the March 1917 uprising that led Tsar Nicholas II to abdicate the throne.’
    • ‘Will the rules be rigged in favour of the rich so that Europe and the US can go on dumping their subsidised agricultural surpluses onto developing countries' markets with ruinous effect?’
    • ‘If having an 80 percent titular majority has helped Lithuania consolidate a democracy, it did not help Russia, and it had a ruinous effect on Uzbekistan.’
    • ‘The ruinous effect of the discriminatory acts on Mr Scott's morale and well-being had been spelt out in medical evidence which the tribunal accepted and to which we will turn when we deal with the psychiatric injury.’
    • ‘The ruinous effect of good intentions is a classic dramatic theme: Ibsen dealt with it tragically in The Wild Duck, and Ayckbourn comically in Joking Apart.’
    • ‘The effects of lead in children are widespread and ruinous, and unlike so many other problems it really could be eliminated by simply throwing money at it.’
    • ‘All extant religious traditions, to him, are without exception ‘intellectually defunct and politically ruinous.’’
    • ‘The story of Imperialism is by no means over; those of us who live in the West benefit daily from its ruinous practices, and those in the decolonising world remain burdened by its dehumanising legacy.’
    • ‘The past 18 months have been ruinous for Gough, who has had to endure three operations on his right knee.’
    • ‘She is scared of the ruinous power of the media, for visual signs carry much greater importance in the civilized world than words.’
    • ‘The state and city have continued on this ruinous course.’
    • ‘If the commercial and social heart of the regional capital were allowed to weaken any further, the consequences for the entire region would be ruinous.’
    • ‘The consequences of this will be ruinous to the political parties.’
    • ‘Is it possible our society become so Nietzchean and socially Darwinian that motherhood is one of the most ruinous choices a woman can make?’
    • ‘The Herald was to have a long battle with Mr Wright, culminating in a ruinous libel action which the paper won leaving the politician with huge costs.’
    • ‘This ruinous legacy continues to reassert itself at each crucial turn of the country's history.’
    • ‘The dangers of teenage experimentation are somehow much less ruinous for boys.’
    disastrous, devastating, catastrophic, calamitous, cataclysmic, crippling, crushing, dire, injurious, damaging, destructive, harmful
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    1. 1.1Costing far more than can be afforded.
      ‘the cost of their ransom might be ruinous’
      • ‘In 1648, as a part of the Treaty of Westphalia, the exhausted Habsburgs wrote off 80 years of ruinous expense and persistent strategic vulnerability, and at last gave de jure recognition to the fact of Dutch independence.’
      • ‘We have 31 trillion dollars of government, corporate and consumer debt which is over three times our annual gross national product and which experts claim can never be wiped out except through a ruinous level of inflation.’
      • ‘He said the expense was ruinous, and certainly if all estates were in the same predicament, the condition of the planters must be very critical.’
      • ‘She was left with a dangerous house and the ruinous expense of making it habitable.’
      • ‘At best, he's facing an expensive legal case and potentially a ruinous legal case.’
      • ‘War is expensive, and this one could be ruinous.’
      • ‘Obviously, computer crime remains a serious problem and some kinds of attacks can cause ruinous financial damage’
      • ‘But this is an uncomfortable process for nearly everybody and, for some, a very costly and ruinous one.’
      • ‘We are led to believe that these actions have helped to stave off ruinous economic fallout from the human catastrophe of September 11.’
      • ‘Even though the potentially ruinous musicians' strike was settled in the nick of time, ticket sales have been soft in recent weeks, and it remains to be seen how they'll be affected by unfolding events in the Persian Gulf.’
      • ‘The State is also facing a raft of claims, including a multi-million euro class action for compensation by chronic gamblers claiming their ruinous habit began as children betting on the State-run racetrack.’
      • ‘We would have had to pay the first £50,000 and that would have been ruinous.’
      • ‘Pressure has been intensified by a number of high-profile libel cases and a growing realisation the legal costs in such cases are completely ruinous.’
      • ‘After serving a hard labour sentence in Reading Gaol following ruinous legal battles he went into self-imposed exile in Paris as Sebastian Melmoth.’
      • ‘A landmark case before the Human Rights Commission highlights hidden inequities in an already ruinous student loan scheme.’
      • ‘The hospitals had become so dependent on state subsidies, they said, that weaning them too fast could be ruinous.’
      • ‘It is never a marriage of equals, there is no prenuptial agreement and the divorce proceedings can be very bitter and financially ruinous.’
      • ‘Yet if you were taken ill in the United States, for example, the cost of private medical treatment could be ruinous.’
      • ‘Even though she may still face ruinous costs for her campaign of opposition, she still intends if possible to take her case to the Court of Appeal.’
      • ‘Many flee wars, but many more flee ruinous prices and starvation wages.’
      extortionate, exorbitant, excessively high, sky-high, outrageous, inflated, more than can be afforded
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  • 2In ruins; dilapidated.

    ‘the castle is ruinous’
    • ‘It must once have been magnificent, but all was now neglected and ruinous: roots spiralled over the corniches; thorns grew from the floor; rubble and piles of fallen plaster lay everywhere.’
    • ‘The plain fact is that this sad old building creates the impression of ruinous crumbling in what should be a lively shopping street.’
    • ‘After Richard's death in 1272 the castle's maintenance was neglected, and by 1540 it was ruinous.’
    • ‘This building is owned by a State body who have let it go into a ruinous state.’
    • ‘Phase Two involves knocking down the old and ruinous buildings at the side of the hall and creating new space for a variety of activities.’
    • ‘By 1522, the manor house at Ightenhill, although standing, was in a ruinous condition.’
    derelict, in ruins, ruined, gone to rack and ruin, dilapidated, tumbledown, ramshackle, broken-down, decrepit, in disrepair, falling to pieces, falling apart, crumbling, decaying, disintegrating
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Late Middle English (also in the sense ‘falling down’): from Latin ruinosus, from ruina (see ruin).



/ˈro͞oənəs/ /ˈruənəs/