ebb

noun
\ ˈeb \

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

But in recent days the White House has seen the pressure ebb, as Kavanaugh’s defenders — most recently Alberto Gonzales, who served as attorney general under President George W. Bush — have provided balance. BostonGlobe.com, "Announcement of Trump’s Supreme Court choice nears," 8 July 2018 But in recent days the White House has seen the pressure ebb, as Kavanaugh’s defenders — most recently Alberto Gonzales, who served as attorney general under President George W. Bush — have provided balance. Catherine Lucey, Washington Post, "Trump mulls Supreme Court choice from 2 or 3 candidates," 7 July 2018 But in recent days the White House has seen the pressure ebb, as Kavanaugh's defenders — most recently Alberto Gonzales, who served as attorney general under President George W. Bush — have provided balance. Catherine Lucey, Zeke Miller And Ken Thomas, Houston Chronicle, "Trump weighs 2 or 3 candidates for court, to meet with Pence," 6 July 2018 Geopolitical factors and the ebb and flow of tensions, even during the Cold War, meant there were some periods when US presidents did try to forge dialogue with the Kremlin. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "Trump's toughness on Russia judged against his predecessors," 9 June 2018 Such things ebb and flow, naturally, but without some sense of parity, so much of the interest falls apart. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Why USMNT fans should celebrate Mexico's World Cup loss," 3 July 2018 Geologic activity over time has an ebb and flow, with some patches that have more eruptions or earthquakes and some patches that have fewer. Author: Erik Klemetti, Anchorage Daily News, "Five myths about volcanoes," 28 May 2018 Relations with Europe are at their lowest ebb in decades as allies brace for another acrimonious encounter with the president who last month harshly criticized them at the Group of Seven economic summit in Canada. Missy Ryan, Greg Jaffe, Anchorage Daily News, "At summit, Mattis faces uphill battle," 10 July 2018 Relations with Europe are at their lowest ebb in decades as allies brace for another acrimonious encounter with the president who last month harshly criticized them at the Group of Seven economic summit in Canada. Missy Ryan And Greg Jaffe, Washington Post, "Trump’s combative words on NATO put Mattis in an increasingly tough spot," 9 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But the initial euphoria has ebbed as global risks mount. Sam Mkokeli, Bloomberg.com, "Zuma's Defiance Hampers Ramaphosa's Bid to Reform South Africa," 12 June 2018 Those inventories are still falling in some cities, but the pace has ebbed since late 2017. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, "Defaults of Crises Past Haunt China’s Markets," 29 May 2018 In recent years, some experts say, Chinese hacking has ebbed. Carlos Tejada, New York Times, "Beg, Borrow or Steal: How Trump Says China Takes Technology," 22 Mar. 2018 The flare-up is also an uncomfortable reminder for mainstream parties of how fragile the political situation remains, even as the actual flow of migrants has ebbed. Sara Miller Llana, The Christian Science Monitor, "In Merkel's moment of crisis, a chance to seize middle ground on migration?," 27 June 2018 While the teacher strikes have ebbed with the school year, deals brokered to end walkouts mostly offered temporary fixes, with no long-term solution in sight. Emmarie Huetteman, Washington Post, "Unwieldy Health Costs Often Stand Between Teachers And Fatter Paychecks," 18 June 2018 To see these connections, consider that the credibility of scientists as a source of relevant information has always ebbed and flowed. Sean W. Fleming, WIRED, "Lessons from Montecito: Science's Credibility Is At Stake," 14 May 2018 No single theory has won out to explain why Alabama’s anti-gambling fervor may have ebbed. Alan Blinder, The Seattle Times, "Alabama’s longtime hostility to gambling shows signs of fading," 10 June 2018 There were some signs that the protests might be ebbing. Washington Post, "New Jordan PM promises chance as anti-tax protests resume," 6 June 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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Phrases Related to ebb

ebb and flow

Statistics for ebb

Last Updated

16 Sep 2018

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 \

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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