ebb

noun
\ ˈeb How to pronounce ebb (audio) \

Definition of ebb

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the reflux of the tide toward the sea
2 : a point or condition of decline our spirits were at a low ebb

ebb

verb
ebbed; ebbing; ebbs

Definition of ebb (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to recede from the flood
2 : to fall from a higher to a lower level or from a better to a worse state his popularity ebbed

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Choose the Right Synonym for ebb

Verb

abate, subside, wane, ebb mean to die down in force or intensity. abate stresses the idea of progressive diminishing. the storm abated subside implies the ceasing of turbulence or agitation. the protests subsided after a few days wane suggests the fading or weakening of something good or impressive. waning enthusiasm ebb suggests the receding of something (such as the tide) that commonly comes and goes. the ebbing of daylight

Examples of ebb in a Sentence

Noun

Morale seems to have reached its lowest ebb. a surprising ebb in the quality of workmanship in goods coming from that country

Verb

waiting for the tide to ebb the fortunes of the town slowly ebbed as factory after textile factory closed
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In the ebb and flow of combat, Marines or Army forces could seize islands, or parts of islands, and then become cut off from resupply. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "This Robotic Ship Could Become a Marine's Lifeline," 9 May 2019 Potomac Watch Podcast Potomac Watch Podcast Then came the Republican romp of 2010, followed by the Census and the regular 10-year redistricting to reflect population ebb and flow across the U.S. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Gerrymander Excuse Implodes," 16 Nov. 2018 In a game that featured more ebb and flow than the nearby surf, OLP rallied from a three-goal deficit for a 12-11 win over El Camino on Saturday that clinched the San Diego Section Division II title. Don Norcross, sandiegouniontribune.com, "D-II girls lacrosse: Pilots’ triumph gets party started," 12 May 2018 But in the ebb and flow of funding, the service had only 33 marshals on duty Sept. 11, 2001, when hijackers flew four planes into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and field in Pennsylvania. Bart Jansen, USA TODAY, "Terror in the skies: TSA's air marshals are 'last line of defense,' but is the program really needed?," 17 May 2018 Stalder has direct experience in the ebb and flow of a seasonal economy. Author: Naomi Klouda, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska Railroad finds savings closer to home," 19 Apr. 2018 Our sexualities have an ebb and flow, like every other part of our lives. Corinne Werder, Allure, "Want to Have Better Sex? Stop Worrying About Orgasms," 11 Oct. 2018 As with the rocky evolution of society's cultural and political climate, makeup trends also ebb and flow. Maya Allen, Marie Claire, "Beyoncé's Makeup Artist Says These Will Be the Coolest Makeup Trends of 2019," 23 Jan. 2019 The ebb and flow of these symptoms also makes MS challenging to diagnose. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "What Selma Blair 'Thought Was a Pinched Nerve' Turned Out to Be MS," 22 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Investors around the globe are effectively paying governments to hold more than $11 trillion of their bonds, a fresh sign of ebbing economic confidence in Europe and Japan. Daniel Kruger, WSJ, "Negative Yields Mount Along With Europe’s Problems," 18 Feb. 2019 The size of the group’s weekly protests, which reached a peak in November, has since ebbed somewhat. Noemie Bisserbe, WSJ, "Emmanuel Macron Courts World Business Elite at Hallmark of France’s Splendor," 21 Jan. 2019 All of the male characters are back in season two but their power is ebbing, slowly in some cases, drastically in others. Taylor Antrim, Vogue, "With Season 2, HBO's The Deuce is a Show in Transition—and That's a Good Thing," 19 Sep. 2018 Across the cavernous rocket factory, the buzz, whirr, and whine of various machinery never ebbed. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "SpaceX reveals the controls of its Dragon spacecraft for the first time," 14 Aug. 2018 Recent concerns about Apple's iPhone business were fanned by suppliers that reported weak demand for high-end handsets, another sign the smartphone boom that made Apple the most-valuable company is ebbing. Mark Gurman, chicagotribune.com, "Apple results to show iPhone X problem and plan to fix it," 1 May 2018 But somewhere along the way, her confidence ebbed; a vocal teacher suggested Kristin check out the Entourage program. Jane Wooldridge, miamiherald, "These 18 made the cut. That’s when the real work began. Now they’re part of the Entourage. | Miami Herald," 22 Apr. 2018 That split second where the game that looks to be ebbing towards a natural, premeditated end gets flipped on it's head, with the remainder of the match plunged into ambiguity is unprecedented in terms of entertainment. SI.com, "6 Teams That Had Victory Snatched From Them at the Death," 18 June 2018 The danger for indifferent Iraqis is to continue to vote along identity lines, even as the sectarianism that enveloped the country for so many years now appears to be ebbing. Jamie Tarabay, CNN, "A hero for defeating ISIS, Iraq's PM still has to woo voters," 10 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ebb.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ebb

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ebb

Noun

Middle English ebbe, from Old English ebba; akin to Middle Dutch ebbe ebb, Old English of from — more at of

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Statistics for ebb

Last Updated

13 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ebb

The first known use of ebb was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for ebb

ebb

noun

English Language Learners Definition of ebb

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the time when the tide flows out from the land
: a low point or condition : a condition of weakness, failure, etc.

ebb

verb

English Language Learners Definition of ebb (Entry 2 of 2)

of a tide : to flow outward from the land
: to get worse

ebb

noun
\ ˈeb How to pronounce ebb (audio) \

Kids Definition of ebb

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the flowing out of the tide
2 : a point reached after things have gotten worse In the ebb of their fortunes, this sum was their total capital …— Jack London, The Call of the Wild

ebb

verb
ebbed; ebbing

Kids Definition of ebb (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to flow out or away
2 : to get worse His fortunes ebbed.

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More from Merriam-Webster on ebb

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ebb

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ebb

Spanish Central: Translation of ebb

Nglish: Translation of ebb for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ebb for Arabic Speakers

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