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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The report found morale was at a low ebb in the department. Dylan Lovan, Star Tribune, "Report: lack of diversity, low morale plague Louisville PD," 28 Jan. 2021 But that’s the normal ebb and flow of a relationship. Julie Beck, The Atlantic, "What It’s Like to Carry On a Tradition With a Friend Who Can’t Remember It," 22 Jan. 2021 There is always a natural ebb and flow of business in the restaurant industry, but as of late, slow nights can mean just a handful of sales for some restaurants. Claire Ballor, Dallas News, "5 ways to help North Texas restaurants get through the winter," 18 Dec. 2020 For several weeks the county reported more than a dozen new COVID-19 hospitalizations a day — on top of the normal ebb and flow of trauma patients and those who may have fallen behind on routine care due to the pandemic. Brooks Johnson, Star Tribune, "For Duluth hospitals, a race between vaccinations and the next COVID-19 surge," 22 Jan. 2021 A century ago, the Army Corps of Engineers built levees around the Mississippi River, limiting the delta’s ability to constantly rebuild itself through the ebb and flow of sediment-carrying water. Eric Roston, Bloomberg.com, "‘Nothing Left’: How Back-to-Back Hurricanes Gutted a U.S. Town," 11 Oct. 2020 This goes a long way toward understanding the ebb and flow in the popularity of facial hair across time. Josh Clark, Wired, "Facial Hair Is Biologically Useless. So Why Do Humans Have It?," 20 Dec. 2020 When Jafa moved to Los Angeles, his self-confidence was at a low ebb. Calvin Tomkins, The New Yorker, "Arthur Jafa’s Radical Alienation," 14 Dec. 2020 Pass the tubing through one of the holes in the reservoir lid and attach it to the smaller ebb nipple below the mixing tray [C]. Daniel Kluko, Popular Mechanics, "Keep Growing All Winter With This DIY Hydroponic System," 7 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Demand on hospitals will ebb, the number of daily deaths will fall precipitously, and by early summer normalcy will begin to return. Tom Keane, BostonGlobe.com, "Three reasons why I know we have a great couple years ahead," 18 Jan. 2021 Several experts said the surge from Thanksgiving may ebb by Christmas, with a flattening or even a dip in new cases. Los Angeles Times, "California quelled virus surge with March stay-at-home order. Why isn’t this one working?," 21 Dec. 2020 Trump's influence could ebb once he is deprived of his platform and politics moves on without him. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "Trump will leave Washington, but Trumpism isn't going anywhere," 8 Dec. 2020 The list of those vying for Fudge’s seat is likely to ebb and flow over the next several weeks leading up to Fudge’s confirmation vote, which would likely take place in February. cleveland, "Shontel Brown, Jeff Johnson announce bids, Nina Turner files paperwork for Marcia Fudge’s seat as list of potential candidates balloons," 10 Dec. 2020 It was supposed to be an emergency program, but the emergency will ebb with Covid-19 vaccines now rolling out. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Lagarde Does Whatever She Can," 9 Dec. 2020 Shah predicted that the pandemic, currently surging out of control, would ebb through a succession of decreasing surges, diminished by a vaccine and perhaps some herd immunity. Dorany Pineda, Los Angeles Times, "7 of the best events at the 2020 Times Festival of Books," 17 Nov. 2020 Online delivery orders, which shot through the roof in March, have already begun to ebb to prepandemic levels, as have mass-buying trends, which saw crowds stocking bulk quantities. Garrett Snyder Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "What are we drinking during the pandemic?," 5 Nov. 2020 But the informal tradition of Augusta tutelage did not ebb. Alan Blinder, New York Times, "Masters Mentorship Puts Tournament Rookies on Top," 14 Nov. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ebb

Time Traveler for ebb

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for ebb

Last Updated

18 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ebb.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ebb. Accessed 24 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on ebb

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ebb

Nglish: Translation of ebb for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ebb for Arabic Speakers

Comments on ebb

What made you want to look up ebb? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!