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go to wrack and ruin

To fall into severe or total decay, degradation, or ruination, as from disuse or lack of upkeep. ("Wrack," a now-archaic word meaning wreckage or destruction, is also often spelled "rack.") It greatly pains me that my grandfather's estate has been left to go to wrack and ruin. If only we'd been able to afford for someone to look after it all these years. The neighbor's property has really gone to wrack and ruin lately. I'm thinking about filing a complaint with the neighborhood association!
See also: and, ruin, wrack

go to rack and ruin

 and go to wrack and ruin
to become ruined. (The words rack and wrack mean "wreckage" and are found only in this expression.) That lovely old house on the corner is going to go to rack and ruin. My lawn is going to wrack and ruin.
See also: and, rack, ruin

*in ruins

in a state of destruction. (*Typically: be ~; lay ~; leave something ~.) The enemy army left the cities they attacked in ruins. The crops laid in ruins after the flood.
See also: ruin

lie in ruins

to exist in a state of ruin, such as a destroyed city, building, scheme, plan, etc. The entire city lay in ruins. My garden lay in ruins after the cows got in and trampled everything.
See also: lie, ruin

ruin of someone or something

the cause of destruction; a failure. Your bad judgment will be the ruin of this company! The greedy politicians were the ruin of the old empire.
See also: of, ruin

wrack and ruin

Cliché complete destruction or ruin. They went back after the fire and saw the wrack and ruin that used to be their house. Drinking brought him nothing but wrack and ruin.
See also: and, ruin, wrack

go to rack/wrack and ruin

if a building goes to rack and ruin, its condition becomes very bad because no one is taking care of it She's let that house go to rack and ruin since Clive died.
See also: and, rack, ruin

rack and ruin, go to

Also, go to wrack and ruin. Become decayed, decline or fall apart, as in After the founder's death the business went to rack and ruin. These expressions are emphatic redundancies, since rack and wrack (which are actually variants of the same word) mean "destruction" or "ruin." [Mid-1500s]
See also: and, rack

rack and ruin

Completely destroyed. “Rack” is a variant of “wrack,” meaning “wreck.” Accordingly, something (or someone) that has gone to rack and ruin is totally devastated.
See also: and, rack, ruin
References in periodicals archive ?
But property values soon prevented London having the equivalent of the partly ruined, partly new Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedachtniskirche in Berlin.
deterioration, thus warning that visible sign of the ruined body
for Beirut it is fundamentally that of its revelation when reconstructed as still a ruined city.
In fact, as every sensible person knows, the economy isn't ruined.
Duffin makes two important points to support his notion that ET ruined harmony.
Shuneen said that as well as the damage to electrics, fridge, the downstairs and carpets, 16 pairs of trousers and 15 T-shirts had been ruined.
That leaves you with a weapon that may not fire and a ruined bolt.
For Brooks, Baudelaire inherits from Rousseau "a polemical ethico-political stance" (17) regarding the city, which is now "particularized" into a central aesthetic ideology and which politicizes the pastoral, a tension with implications for the Commune picturesque discussion: the bourgeoisie wished both to politicize the ruined city for the purposes of condemning the Communards, and to depoliticize the ruined cityscape for pleasure and commodification purposes.
Croatian Mostar is more modern and much less picturesque than the Muslim parts, but now many of its largely concrete buildings remain poxed and partly ruined by war.
Sutton Coldfield town centre has been ruined by modern development in recent years.
He ruined our lives, the whole family's lives,'' said Sadek's brother Youssef Sadek.
For in the ruins of Jerusalem, in the pierced, dead, and ruined body of our Lord Jesus Christ, in which we now dwell far more literally than any of us might have imagined, the Lord brings us to see, as only eyes cleansed by tears of repentance can, the omnipotence of his cruciform love.
Rome's agricultural economy was ruined, grass grew in its abandoned streets and roads, and its commercial life was destroyed.
The main character is Adam Windjammer, whose family is ruined when their fleet of ships goes down in storms.
Susan says the machine, from Choice catalogue, had over-heated so much that all the clothes inside were ruined.