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, go, ruin, wrack

go to rack and ruin

To fall into severe or total decay, degradation, or ruination, as from disuse or lack of upkeep. ("Rack" here is a variant spelling of "wrack," a now-archaic word meaning wreckage or destruction.) It greatly pains me that my grandfather's estate has been left to go to rack and ruin. 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, go, 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

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

on the road to (something)

Following a course of action that results in a particular outcome. They'll be on the road to financial ruin if they keep up such extravagant spending. Now that my father has switched doctors, he's finally on the road to recovery.
See also: on, road

in ruins

Completely destroyed or wrecked; in a state of ruin. Wow, the hurricane really left this city in ruins. After so many years of neglect, the house is practically in ruins.
See also: ruin

lie in ruins

To be completely devastated, destroyed, or wrecked. The town lay in ruins after the hurricane tore through it. My poor flowers are lying in ruins thanks to your damned dog! Nearly two centuries later, and the once thriving civilization now lies in ruins, its people totally wiped away.
See also: lie, ruin

the ruin of (someone or something)

The cause of someone's or something's failure, destruction, or downfall. The disastrous product proved to be the ruin of the company after moving less than a quarter of a million units. Many assumed the scandal would be the ruin of the candidate.
See also: of, ruin

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, go, 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

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, go, rack

go to rack and ruin

If something goes to rack and ruin, it gets into a very bad state, because nobody looks after it or deals properly with it. This beautiful building was left to go to rack and ruin. The country is going to rack and ruin under this government. Note: You can also say that something falls into rack and ruin During these years, historical monuments were allowed to fall into rack and ruin. Note: The expression rack and ruin can also be used without these verbs. According to Michael, the whole country's heading for rack and ruin. Note: Less commonly, this expression is spelt wrack and ruin. A once magnificent country house has now fallen into wrack and ruin. Note: `Wrack' means the same as `wreck', something that has been destroyed.
See also: and, go, rack, ruin

go to rack and ruin

gradually deteriorate in condition because of neglect; fall into disrepair.
Rack is a variant spelling of the word wrack , meaning ‘destruction’, but it is the standard one in this expression, which has been in use since the late 16th century.
1998 Oldie The allotment below mine looks set to go to rack and ruin from its previous well-tended state.
See also: and, go, rack, ruin

go to ˌrack and ˈruin

get into bad condition because of lack of care: The house has gone to rack and ruin over the last few years.The country is going to rack and ruin under this government.
Rack in this idiom means ‘destruction’.
See also: and, go, rack, ruin

on the ˌroad to ˈruin, diˈsaster, etc.

following a course of action that will lead to ruin, disaster, etc: I don’t know whether it was losing his job or the divorce that set him on the road to ruin.
See also: on, road

in ˈruins

badly damaged or destroyed: The city was in ruins at the end of the war.Their life was in ruins after the death of their only child.
See also: ruin

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
References in periodicals archive ?
Another Twitter user wrote: "Just had my Christmas ruined by a Tesco turkey which stank the kitchen out when i unwrapped it.
Residents were sweeping muddy water from garages and helping others strip the ruined carpets from their hallways.
25, 27-28) Within this scenario the central image of the ruined
for Beirut it is fundamentally that of its revelation when reconstructed as still a ruined city."
Duffin makes two important points to support his notion that ET ruined harmony.
In a film illustrating the irrelevance of England's ceremonial monarchy, Frears also turns over the rock of our modern and often pathological obsession with celebrities, suggesting that the age of Diana, with its endless public confessions and canniballike feasting on the scabs of ruined lives, is hardly an improvement on what came before.
The 13-year-old, who lives with her mum and Ann and two sisters on Milverton Road, said: "My school uniform is ruined and other clothes I have been wrecked.
That leaves you with a weapon that may not fire and a ruined bolt.
The poem enacts a categorical shift as it describes an aesthetic attitude towards the city typically applied to "picturesque" scenery, one which Peter Brooks aptly names the "urban antipastoral." 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.
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.