What meaning does 'ruinously' convey in the given sentence:

"A city so ruinously sad that it had forgotten its name."

Does it mean that, it was so badly sad that it had forgotten its name or that it was sad in a way that tends to cause great harm?

  • It's difficult to tell exactly what was meant, at least without more context. Where did you come across this? The use of the word "sad" seems quite modern to me, is it? – BoldBen Feb 5 at 6:45
  • You can consider it to mean "in such a way as to cause ruin". But of course that must be interpreted in a figurative sense, depending on the context. – Hot Licks Feb 6 at 2:06

Ruinously in this context is a descriptive and superlative way of saying "very."

What the author is saying, is the city was so sad that it had forgotten its name. Its sense of identity as a city had been ruined.

  • "Very" with an emphasis on "destructively and tragically" - it's so very (destructively and tragically) sad that it brought ruin to the city. It's a great word. – Patrick Hughes Feb 6 at 1:08
  • @PatrickHughes I'm not sure who the writer of this sentence is, but it is brilliant indeed. It's a "WOW" sentence.... – Karlomanio Feb 6 at 20:47
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    So it makes sense to say that one is "ruinously happy"? – Hot Licks Feb 6 at 22:40
  • Yes. It has a lot of very inventive connotations when used within the context it is being used. – Karlomanio Feb 6 at 23:16

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