ruin

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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

  (old-fashioned)
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 ?
If thieves are going to come to Newcastle and steal from people, possibly ruining their Christmas, then we'll ruin theirs to protect the vast majority of law abiding citizens by ensuring they aren't allowed back into the area at any time of day or night.
Raymond accuses the Government of ruining the economy but forgets to mention that it has taken them 11 years.
and How Their Radical Feminist Assault Is Ruining Our Schools, Families, Military, and Sports.
They begin spewing nonsense about "parity" and how it is ruining the game; the "sameness" of our offenses and defenses and how it is ruining the game; and the "decline" of shooting skills and how it is ruining the game.
When will they stop ruining and cheapening the better areas?
Now these few vandals are ruining it for everybody.
Airport security may open the camera, thereby ruining the film.
In light of this advice, they decided not to use the machine at all, for fear of ruining another load of clothes.
After losing thousands of dollars per shipment, Traditional Hardwood started packing the wood in porous bags filled with silica gel, lining the container tops and bottoms with the bags, hoping to stop the salty moisture from seeping inside and ruining the cargo.
It was true--not that she was ruining my life, but that MS was ruining our life together.