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

For all the talk in Britain of taking back control and returning to the glories of bygone eras, the low ebb of the pound is a sign: Things change. Adam Taylor, Washington Post, "How Brexit ravaged the once-mighty British pound," 15 Aug. 2019 But beyond the dip in airline capacity, rising prices in the country are also to blame for the ebb of Iceland's tourism. Jessica Puckett, Condé Nast Traveler, "Iceland's Tourism Numbers Are Dropping—And Wow Air Is to Blame," 2 Aug. 2019 That leaves Greenwood, who frequently drops into a deeper role in between the lines to dictate the ebb and flow of matches and bring his teammates into proceedings with an impressive range of passing. SI.com, "Eddie Nketiah, Troy Parrott & Mason Greenwood: Assessing Who Is the Best Premier League Prospect," 22 July 2019 It should be noted that fluctuations in large-scale natural oscillations in both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans also factor into the ebb and flow of moisture, heat and wildfire activity in the West. Jeff Berardelli, CBS News, "Wildfires could grow exponentially as climate warms, study warns," 17 July 2019 Bowling suggests that popular perception of an increase in shark attacks may stem more from news bias and the ebb and flow of the news cycle than the actual numbers of attacks. Jenny Howard, National Geographic, "Why shark attacks are more common in the Atlantic than the Pacific," 2 July 2019 But, in truth, many of the momentary controversies (Julian Castro versus Beto O’Rourke on immigration, and an angry Bill de Blasio seemingly against the world) will prove evanescent, lost in the ebb-and-flow of a long campaign. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, "Miami Moonglow for Booker and Klobuchar," 27 June 2019 The traditional ebb and flow of a soccer season would disappear. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "Soccer’s Super League Threat Isn’t Going Away," 12 Nov. 2018 Well, maybe not Penn State’s James Franklin, who acknowledged an ebb and flow Friday, but would like to continue the discussion of potential change. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "So, you want Big Ten realignment? Stop being soft | Opinion," 20 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Chris Bassitt, who has ebbed and flowed all season, delivered a quality start following a clunker in Seattle. Shayna Rubin, The Mercury News, "A’s clobber White Sox with 7-run first inning," 13 July 2019 His calls were filled with energy, passion and punchy phrases, often featuring alliteration, and his demeanor and tone would ebb and flow along with the Blazers’ ups and downs. Joe Freeman, oregonlive.com, "Brian Wheeler will not return to Portland Trail Blazers’ radio," 12 July 2019 Investors still expect a small rate cut from the Fed at its next meeting later this month — but the calls for a larger move have ebbed a bit following the latest CPI data. Paul R. La Monica, CNN, "Inflation may be creeping higher after all," 11 July 2019 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

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

19 Aug 2019

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 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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