rack and ruin, gone to

rack and ruin

Utter destruction or ruination; severe or total decay or degradation, as from disuse or lack of upkeep. "Rack" here is a variant spelling of "wrack," a now-archaic word meaning wreckage or destruction. Used especially in the phrase "go to rack and ruin." The rack and ruin of my grandfather's estate pains me greatly. If only we'd been able to afford for someone to look after it for all these years. The neighbor's property has really gone to rack and ruin lately. I'm thinking about filing a complaint with the neighborhood association!
See also: and, rack, ruin

wrack and ruin

Utter destruction or ruination; severe or total decay or degradation, as from disuse or lack of upkeep. ("Wrack," a now-archaic word meaning wreckage or destruction, is also often spelled "rack.") Used especially in the phrase "go to wrack and ruin." The wrack and ruin of my grandfather's estate pains me greatly. If only we'd been able to afford for someone to look after it for 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

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

rack and ruin, gone to

Dilapidated and decayed. These words originally meant utter destruction and financial ruin, rack here being a variant of wreck (it was sometimes spelled wrack, showing the close association). The term, from the sixteenth century, no doubt owes its long life in part to alliteration. Today it is most often used of inanimate objects, such as a building or a business. In 1782 Elizabeth Blower doubled up on clichés, writing, “Everything would soon go to sixes and sevens, and rack and ruin” (George Bateman).
See also: and, gone, 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