ruin(redirected from ruins)
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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!
go to rack and ruinand 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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]
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.