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 Across millions and billions of years its contents ebb and flow. Caleb A. Scharf, Scientific American, "The Mystery of Titan's Expanding Orbit," 30 July 2020 But measurements for June’s report were taken when the wave of coronavirus cases was at a low ebb in the United States — 35 states set new infection records in July alone. Andrew Van Dam, Washington Post, "U.S. economy contracted at fastest quarterly rate on record from April to June as coronavirus walloped workers, businesses," 30 July 2020 Now, after months of studying the pandemic’s ebb and flow around the world, scientists are turning to a similar but more comprehensive metric: the infection-fatality rate. Carrie Arnold, National Geographic, "How scientists know COVID-19 is way deadlier than the flu," 2 July 2020 But recalibrating to adjust to the ebb and flow of a novel virus requires a nimbleness that can be hard for pharmaceutical companies to achieve. Maryn Mckenna, Wired, "Where Should Covid-19 Vaccines Be Tested? It's a Moving Target," 1 July 2020 Some experts believed that youth sports would be well-equipped to handle the ebb and flow of COVID-19 because decisions could be made locally and quickly. Tom Schad, USA TODAY, "In COVID-19 hot spots like Florida and Texas, youth sports have patchwork response to rising cases," 30 June 2020 Marke Bieschke, a multi-hyphenate if ever there were one (nightlife historian, bar owner, DJ, author, 48 Hills editor), has experienced much of the recent ebb and flow. Ryan Kost, SFChronicle.com, "50 years of San Francisco Pride, from Stonewall to Black Lives Matter," 26 June 2020 European officials said the list would be revised every two weeks to reflect new realities around the world as nations see the virus ebb and flow. Matina Stevis-gridneff, BostonGlobe.com, "EU may bar American travelers as it reopens borders, citing failures on virus," 24 June 2020 Seasons came and went, the comedic ebb and flow continuing through the 1980s and into the '90s. Marc Bona, cleveland, "How funny are the women on ‘Saturday Night Live’?," 23 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Even as cases ebb in the Sun Belt, infection rates are picking up in the Midwest. Bloomberg.com, "California Cases Accelerate; Birx Sees ‘New Phase’: Virus Update," 2 Aug. 2020 When the top layer cools, the power of storms can ebb. John Fialka, Scientific American, "A Robotic Mini-Armada Will Probe the Secrets of Hurricanes," 14 July 2020 Wasow said it’s possible support will ebb as the nationwide protests end and the country turns its attention to something else. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Trump's latest criticism of NFL protests appears to be falling on deaf ears," 18 June 2020 As domestic demand rises and airlines test their legs and schedules, domestic flights are more likely to ebb and flow, so expect disruptions, sudden changes, and/or flight consolidations. Katherine Alex Beaven, Travel + Leisure, "Is It Safe to Fly Right Now? Here's What Experts Have to Say," 25 June 2020 Given the inherently more stressful environment of a rooftop garden, Oudolf selected plants that were tough and could take neglect, and his planting design was always meant to ebb and flow as specific plants seeded and spread. Washington Post, "The High Line has been sidelined. When it reopens, New Yorkers may get the park they always wanted.," 24 June 2020 And the anger and rage in the streets that fueled 12 days of protests against police brutality has started to ebb, even if the determination to effect change has not. Michael Collins, USA TODAY, "Shrines, murals and the military: How DC has been transformed by protests, security," 11 June 2020 Powell’s has caught up with its orders now, Powell said, but the surge in business early in the pandemic has ebbed. oregonlive, "Powell’s Books will be back, CEO Emily Powell pledges, but not soon," 20 May 2020 Rabbi Noam Cohen, the center's director, said anti-Semitism has ebbed and flowed for centuries. CBS News, "2019 saw most anti-Semitic incidents in US in 40 years, tally finds," 12 May 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.

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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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Time Traveler for ebb

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for ebb

Last Updated

4 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ebb.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ebb. Accessed 14 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for ebb

ebb

noun
How to pronounce ebb (audio)

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

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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