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 As virus cases ebb and governments relax lockdowns, major firms are turning their attention to the thorny problem of safely running offices in the center of major cities. Viren Vaghela, Bloomberg.com, "Goldman Reopens 7 Europe Hubs, Adds Gauntlet of Checks for Staff," 20 May 2020 The ebb and flow of hikers was typical of local trails — a group of 10 would show up, then a series of couples, a single or two. Chris Erskinecolumnist, Los Angeles Times, "They’re getting ready to toast and serve L.A. hikers again. And the drinks really are free," 7 May 2020 Traffic at both airports ebb and flow on networks of their two dominant carriers. Kyle Arnold, Dallas News, "What happened to all those direct flights from Dallas? Blame COVID-19," 1 May 2020 Texas has been in the middle, at about 10 percent, and has been on an ebb-and-flow decline since April 12. Jeremy Blackman, ExpressNews.com, "Gov. Abbott pushes Friday reopening even as Texas misses benchmarks set by his advisers," 30 Apr. 2020 More on the English Premier League Pulisic, a 20-year-old attacking midfielder who also plays on the wing, has been one of few bright spots for American men’s soccer in a period that has seen the national team sink to its lowest ebb in 30 years. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "Christian Pulisic Becomes Most Expensive U.S. Soccer Star After Record Transfer," 2 Jan. 2019 The case has plunged relations between the West and Russia to their lowest ebb since the Cold War, with multiple tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions in numerous countries. Washington Post, "UK rejects joint probe with Russia into spy poisoning," 4 Apr. 2018 Political turmoil—which had appeared to ebb in recent weeks—looks set to flare anew. The Economist, "The long arm of Beijing China moves to squeeze Hong Kong’s freedoms," 23 Apr. 2020 Elsewhere around the world, step-by-step reopenings were underway in Europe, where the crisis has begun to ebb in places such as Italy, Spain and Germany. Chris Blake, Fox News, "WHO cautions against rush to ease coronavirus restrictions, warns of resurgence," 22 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb USA TODAY New claims for unemployment benefits in Ohio and nationally continue to ebb as the economy slowly reopens after being shuttered because of the coronavirus pandemic. Mark Williams, Cincinnati.com, "New unemployment claims decline in Ohio, across the country," 14 May 2020 Consent is a measure that naturally ebbs and flows with events and the government’s handling of them. Tom Mctague, The Atlantic, "We Are Stronger Than We Think," 14 May 2020 If the vaccine takes time and natural immunity wanes, much of the world may experience multiple waves of the virus, where cases ebb and flow. National Geographic, "THE BEST OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX," 1 May 2020 As the outbreak starts to ebb in New York and pressure rises on the UK government to end London’s lockdown, the largest banks are grappling with how to adhere to social distancing rules. BostonGlobe.com, "Google offers its software for free to keep up with Zoom," 29 Apr. 2020 The epidemic appears to be ebbing in the People’s Republic of China, though the costly social and economic impacts will linger. Doug Bandow, National Review, "The U.S. Should Offer Taiwan a Free-Trade Agreement," 23 Mar. 2020 These sediments are the signatures of an ancient lake that ebbed and flowed between 10 and 2 million years ago. Mare Czinar, azcentral, "If you like steep, edgy hikes, this Camp Verde trail is for you. Here's how to tackle it," 13 Feb. 2020 Los Angeles saw a decline in crime in the first weeks of social distancing measures and shutdowns related to the coronavirus spread, but that lull has ebbed. Los Angeles Times, "Garcetti joins other mayors to call for more federal funding to fight violence during pandemic," 4 May 2020 Epidemiologists and infectious disease experts said Tuesday there has been a slight increase in cases in recent days, but the numbers have ebbed and flowed a bit over time and any change may have been caused by factors other than the election. John Diedrich, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Two weeks after election, COVID-19 cases have not spiked in Wisconsin but experts urge caution about conclusions," 22 Apr. 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

26 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ebb.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ebb. Accessed 1 Jun. 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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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