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

The former President was at his lowest ebb, disgraced and marginalized. Daniel Alarcón, The New Yorker, "What Led Peru’s Former President to Take His Own Life?," 1 July 2019 One early sign that the AKP’s fortunes were beginning to ebb came in March, with the first vote for mayor. Jason Epstein, National Review, "Whoever Wins Istanbul’s Mayoral Election, There’s Trouble Ahead for Erdogan," 22 June 2019 Some of that might just be the normal ebb and flow of business – particularly for a sports bar when the Reds are last place in the division. Hannah Sparling, Cincinnati.com, "The John A. Roebling Bridge has been closed for nearly two months. Businesses are starting to suffer.," 11 June 2019 Connecticut’s population ebbs are a major fixation among some in the state, with questions about tax policy and its impact of the quality of life driving everything from conversations on talk radio to public policy debates at the Capitol. Daniela Altimari, courant.com, "Hartford Courant/Sacred Heart Poll finds a quality of life paradox in Connecticut," 7 June 2019 Pass the tubing through one of the holes in the reservoir lid and attach it to the smaller ebb nipple below the mixing tray. Daniel Kluko, Popular Mechanics, "How to Grow Hydroponic Plants at Home," 13 Feb. 2017 In the ebb and flow of combat, Marines or Army forces could seize islands, or parts of islands, and then become cut off from resupply. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "This Robotic Ship Could Become a Marine's Lifeline," 9 May 2019 Potomac Watch Podcast Potomac Watch Podcast Then came the Republican romp of 2010, followed by the Census and the regular 10-year redistricting to reflect population ebb and flow across the U.S. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Gerrymander Excuse Implodes," 16 Nov. 2018 In a game that featured more ebb and flow than the nearby surf, OLP rallied from a three-goal deficit for a 12-11 win over El Camino on Saturday that clinched the San Diego Section Division II title. Don Norcross, sandiegouniontribune.com, "D-II girls lacrosse: Pilots’ triumph gets party started," 12 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Confidence has ebbed lately as the Trump administration wages a trade war with China (and recently threatened a new one with Mexico) and as the thrust from tax cuts peters out. John Detrixhe, Quartz, "Treasury yields are plunging, a sign investors are worried," 8 June 2019 One sign of Wall Street’s ebbing confidence came from Adam Jonas, a Morgan Stanley analyst who long held high expectations for Tesla as an investment. New York Times, "Tesla, Facing Setbacks and Skeptics, Tries to Get Back on Course," 10 June 2019 The natural beauty of Hawaii was especially uplifting when her spirits ebbed, Serpico added. Janene Holzberg, baltimoresun.com, "For Columbia triathlete Suzy Serpico, conquering this challenge was epic," 7 June 2019 In the still of the dawn, with the battle ebbing, there was a tranquility to the way these southern flatlands rolled gently down to the Euphrates. Azad Cudi, Harper's magazine, "Long Shot," 10 Jan. 2019 Meanwhile, separate reports Wednesday showed that consumer and business confidence ebbed in February. Sam Chambers, Bloomberg.com, "Amazon and Brexit Take Toll as Toys ‘R’ Us U.K., Maplin Fail," 28 Feb. 2018 But Apple’s forecast for the December quarter suggests the gains the company has enjoyed from goosing its prices may be ebbing. Dan Gallagher, WSJ, "Apple’s Juice Runs Out," 1 Nov. 2018 Investors around the globe are effectively paying governments to hold more than $11 trillion of their bonds, a fresh sign of ebbing economic confidence in Europe and Japan. Daniel Kruger, WSJ, "Negative Yields Mount Along With Europe’s Problems," 18 Feb. 2019 The size of the group’s weekly protests, which reached a peak in November, has since ebbed somewhat. Noemie Bisserbe, WSJ, "Emmanuel Macron Courts World Business Elite at Hallmark of France’s Splendor," 21 Jan. 2019

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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Statistics for ebb

Last Updated

8 Jul 2019

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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 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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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