Ruin vs Undermine - What's the difference?

ruin | undermine |

As a noun ruin

is .

As a verb undermine is

to dig underneath (something), to make a passage or for destructive or military purposes; to sap.




(en noun)
  • The remains of a destroyed or dilapidated construction, such as a house or castle.
  • *(Joseph Addison) (1672–1719)
  • *:The Veian and the Gabian towers shall fall, / And one promiscuous ruin' cover all; / Nor, after length of years, a stone betray / The place where once the very ' ruins lay.
  • *(Joseph Stevens Buckminster) (1751-1812)
  • *:The labour of a day will not build up a virtuous habit on the ruins of an old and vicious character.
  • *{{quote-book, year=1963, author=(Margery Allingham), title=(The China Governess)
  • , chapter=Foreword citation , passage=A canister of flour from the kitchen had been thrown at the looking-glass and lay like trampled snow over the remains of a decent blue suit with the lining ripped out which lay on top of the ruin of a plastic wardrobe.}}
  • (lb) The state of being a ruin, destroyed or decayed.
  • :
  • (lb) Something that leads to serious trouble or destruction.
  • :
  • *(Francis Bacon) (1561-1626)
  • *:The errors of young men are the ruin of business.
  • *
  • *:The Bat—they called him the Bat.. Most lone wolves had a moll at any rate—women were their ruin —but if the Bat had a moll, not even the grapevine telegraph could locate her.
  • (lb) A fall or tumble.
  • *(George Chapman) (1559-1634)
  • *:His ruin startled the other steeds.
  • A change that destroys or defeats something; destruction; overthrow.
  • :
  • *(Thomas Gray) (1716-1771)
  • *:Ruin seize thee, ruthless king!
  • Verb

    (en verb)
  • to cause the ruin of.
  • * 1883 ,
  • In one way, indeed, he bade fair to ruin us; for he kept on staying week after week, and at last month after month, so that all the money had been long exhausted...
  • To destroy or make something no longer usable.
  • He ruined his new white slacks by accidentally spilling oil on them.
  • * Longfellow
  • By the fireside there are old men seated, / Seeling ruined cities in the ashes.
  • To upset or mess up the plans or progress of, or to put into disarray; to spoil.
  • My car breaking down just as I was on the road ruined my vacation.


    * destroy * fordo * ruinate * wreck


    * build * construct * found * produce




  • To dig underneath (something), to make a passage or for destructive or military purposes; to sap.
  • * 2009 , (Diarmaid MacCulloch), A History of Christianity , Penguin 2010, p. 312:
  • Martin, for instance, had on one occasion undermined a tree sacred to old gods, then stood in the path of its fall, but forced it to fall elsewhere by making the sign of the Cross.
  • (figuratively) To weaken or work against; to hinder, sabotage.
  • * {{quote-news, year=2012, date=April 19, author=Josh Halliday, work=the Guardian
  • , title= Free speech haven or lawless cesspool – can the internet be civilised? , passage=The growing use of social media to spread anger and dissent in the Arab world has been hailed by western governments as one of the chief justifications for a completely unfettered internet. The US is reportedly funding the secret rollout of technology in Iran in an effort to undermine internet censors in the country.}}


    * undergird