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[roo-uh-nuh s] /ˈru ə nəs/
bringing or tending to bring ruin; destructive; disastrous:
a ruinous war.
fallen into ruin; dilapidated:
a ruinous house.
consisting of ruins:
a ruinous city from antiquity.
Origin of ruinous
1350-1400; Middle English ruynouse < Latin ruīnōsus, equivalent to ruīn(a) ruin + -ōsus -ous
Related forms
ruinously, adverb
ruinousness, noun
nonruinous, adjective
nonruinously, adverb
nonruinousness, noun
unruinous, adjective
unruinously, adverb
unruinousness, noun
1. calamitous, ravaging, devastating, catastrophic. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for ruinous
  • PPt can be an incredible tool when used correctly and ruinous if not.
  • Instead they were used to create a false financial system that is ruinous for our countries.
  • The downpour of the past two days has been ruinous to entertainment in the suburbs.
  • Given that cohort, presidential cowardice doesn't have ruinous effects.
  • If it snaps, a ruinous return to protectionism beckons.
  • Landlords here have complained for years that this city's rent-control laws are ruinous.
  • But in many poor nations, a sudden influx of oil money has proven ruinous.
  • But naive faith in regulators' powers creates ruinous false security.
  • Any well-founded impression that the timing is governed by domestic political concerns would be ruinous.
  • They have been ruinous for the people whose homes and businesses have been damaged and destroyed.
British Dictionary definitions for ruinous


causing, tending to cause, or characterized by ruin or destruction: a ruinous course of action
Derived Forms
ruinously, adverb
ruinousness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ruinous

late 14c., "going to ruin," from Old French ruinos (Modern French ruineux) or directly from Latin ruinosus "tumbling down, going to ruin," from ruina (see ruin (n.)). Meaning "causing ruin" is from mid-15c. Related: Ruinously.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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