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 fact, the ebb and flow of florals and orientals is part of a dialectic over 400 years old. New York Times, "The Fragrances That Changed the Field," 10 May 2021 This steady ebb of voter confidence is an immediate challenge for Armin Laschet, selected by CDU members in January to be their new party leader and potential candidate to replace Mrs. Merkel in national elections in the autumn. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "A Different Center Holds in Germany," 15 Mar. 2021 For the past couple of decades, meteorologists and climate scientists have believed that this ebb and flow was due to a natural warming and cooling cycle built into the climate system called the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, or AMO. Jeff Berardelli, CBS News, "Humans, not nature, are the cause of changes in Atlantic hurricane cycles, new study finds," 5 Mar. 2021 Which means that the Gallup number likely caught Trump at his lowest possible ebb (or close to it). Chris Cillizza, CNN, "What Liz Cheney has figured out about Donald Trump and 2024," 15 Apr. 2021 Biden has seen much change in his half-century of public service, the ebb and flow of ideologies and ideas and the shifting power balance between the two major parties. Dan Balz, Anchorage Daily News, "Analysis: Next phase of Biden’s presidency will be harder, riskier," 4 Apr. 2021 His 14 novels were written at speed to keep the wolf from the door, and, at his lowest ebb, the jailers at bay. The Economist, "What Boris Johnson has in common with Benjamin Disraeli," 27 Mar. 2021 Louisville football was at a low ebb when Schnellenberger returned to his hometown to coach the Cardinals in 1985. Tim Sullivan, USA TODAY, "Howard Schnellenberger, legendary college football coach, dies at age 87," 27 Mar. 2021 Unlike the flowers at the Tidal Basin, which tend to explode into a forest of pink at the same time, peak bloom for the varieties of trees at the Arboretum ebb and flow. Washington Post, "Want to see beautiful, pink cherry blossoms? Head to the National Arboretum, not the Tidal Basin.," 25 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The impulse to test even asymptomatic patients will ebb, and the cases that do arise will be managed by the healthcare system as routinely as measles or mumps. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Stop fretting about ‘herd immunity’ — we’re close, if not already there," 11 May 2021 Happiness can ebb and flow, but a general sense of wellbeing, satisfaction and fulfillment matter—a lot. Tracy Brower, Forbes, "The Business Case For Happiness: Evidence Happiness Is Good For Organizations, People, Communities," 11 Apr. 2021 The skyrocketing number of new cases, which have pushed India’s total infections to more than 14 million, has turned the South Asian nation into a global epicenter of the pandemic, with few signs that the outbreak will ebb. Washington Post, "Covid-19 live updates India reports record 200,000 new covid-19 cases as outbreak spreads," 15 Apr. 2021 But with a return of a semblance of normal life hopefully approaching this summer, the White House's ability to maintain the balance between Covid-19 mitigation measures and resurgent commercial activity and gatherings will likely ebb even further. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "Michigan vaccine rebuff puts Biden and a top ally in a dicey political spot," 13 Apr. 2021 While it's understood each index is made up of different components (i.e. companies) and will fluctuate to varying degrees, large baskets of stocks usually ebb and flow together. Ben Marks And Brett Angel, Star Tribune, "Picking a stocks benchmark that works for you," 20 Mar. 2021 The worry is that trust in the NPT may ebb away, weakening non-proliferation efforts. The Economist, "Stocking up Britain is adding nukes for the first time since the cold war," 16 Mar. 2021 In a meta-analysis of 19 studies, bright light therapy was superior to placebo; another small study found 61 percent of light-therapy patients saw their depression symptoms ebb in four weeks. New York Times, "How to Recognize and Address Seasonal Depression," 5 Feb. 2021 Yet local residents predict that despite the massacre, migration from Comitancillo to the United States will not ebb. New York Times, "A Violent End to a Desperate Dream Leaves a Guatemalan Town Grieving," 21 Mar. 2021

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

13 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ebb.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ebb. Accessed 15 May. 2021.

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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.

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

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