wrack and ruin

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
References in classic literature ?
To see her going to wrack and ruin shocked me terribly.
So, the Bride had mounted into her handsome chariot, incidentally accompanied by the Bridegroom; and after rolling for a few minutes smoothly over a fair pavement, had begun to jolt through a Slough of Despond, and through a long, long avenue of wrack and ruin. Other nuptial carriages are said to have gone the same road, before and since.
I feel that it is being left to go to wrack and ruin.
"The discovery fits in with other indications that at South Shields the old picture of things going to wrack and ruin by the 4th Century is not quite true," said archaeologist Nick Hodgson.
This will only replicate what has been happening around the country where town centres are left to wrack and ruin, where boarded up shops and closing down sales become the norm.
Or is it the road to wrack and ruin? Malcolm H Mort Cardiff & Barry Ex-Seafarers Teleconferencing Project Organiser
I AGREE wholeheartedly with the comments by Peter Jordan from Bournville ("Going to wrack and ruin" - December 10).
The Landmark Trust, which looks after some of the country's most important historic buildings, had applied for the cash to prevent it being left to wrack and ruin.
He has led his country to wrack and ruin, and starved his people".
However, he claimed nothing has happened and that the landmark building is going to wrack and ruin.
But as with so many other places, they've just forgotten about it and let it go to wrack and ruin.
The report points out that perfectly good houses have been left to go to wrack and ruin while consultants have been paid pounds 168m.
So we're all going to moral wrack and ruin - well, doubtless, except that this survey was based on findings gathered back in 1949.
Like everything else in the town the pool is being forced into wrack and ruin, hopefully to be forgotten.
By the time we had climbed the apples and pears at half past two in the morning those dreams were in wrack and ruin. But to see the sulky Somerset pacebowler sleepwalking on the deep mid-wicket boundary, after awakening from a fitful few hours' kip, was adding salt to the wounds.