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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
ebb
I.noun
COLLOCATIONS FROM OTHER ENTRIES
an ebb tide (=the flow of the sea away from the shore)
▪ We sailed out to sea on the ebb tide.
ebb and flow
▪ the ebb and flow of the tide
ebb and flow
▪ We watched the tide ebb and flow.
COLLOCATIONS FROM CORPUS
■ ADJECTIVE
low
▪ Jackie tries to explain she was at her lowest ebb when she sought comfort from Shelley.
▪ Idei is overhauling a corporate structure Sony introduced in mid-1994 when its fortunes were at a low ebb.
▪ We had a few concluding words about the literary scene in London, which he thought to have reached a pretty low ebb.
▪ At his lowest ebb, Macari was threatened with imprisonment and his wife rang friends to secure bail money of £50,000.
▪ In the past eighteen months he has felt at an appallingly low ebb.
▪ Inspiration seemed to be at a very low ebb.
▪ Her spirits were at their lowest ebb.
■ NOUN
tide
▪ And she couldn't bear the thought of being sucked back into the ebb tide of loneliness again either.
▪ It was ebb tide and the current was in their favour.
▪ Flounders were plentiful, with many undersize fish caught on the ebb tide.
▪ But Grace wouldn't need them to go out to sea on the ebb tide.
▪ He had missed the ebb tide.
■ VERB
reach
▪ We had a few concluding words about the literary scene in London, which he thought to have reached a pretty low ebb.
▪ Still, she had a sneaking hope that as she'd reached her lowest ebb, the tide might turn.
EXAMPLES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
▪ The latest setback is another sign of the ebb in the governor's influence.
EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS
▪ At her lowest ebb, she would have scorned to stoop to such tactics.
▪ At his lowest ebb, Macari was threatened with imprisonment and his wife rang friends to secure bail money of £50,000.
▪ In the past eighteen months he has felt at an appallingly low ebb.
▪ Inspiration seemed to be at a very low ebb.
▪ John summed it up as the super sixties, sobering seventies and ebb and flow of the eighties.
▪ We had a few concluding words about the literary scene in London, which he thought to have reached a pretty low ebb.
II.verb
COLLOCATIONS FROM CORPUS
■ ADVERB
away
▪ It was all very well to make brave plans but here in the presence of this brooding giant, courage ebbed away.
▪ Their ritual rage ebbed away, to be replaced by a mounting fear.
▪ But their strength was ebbing away, and neither DeFreitas nor Botham could contribute, both on the field but carrying injuries.
▪ I could feel the enthusiasm ebbing away as the workmen became more and more exhausted.
▪ London's crumbling pillars Confidence in the City of London's main institutions is ebbing away.
▪ Lancaster meanwhile was encamped near Bedford, and seeing his support ebb away he made another offer of submission.
▪ The spontaneity of the dancers ebbed away and they seemed almost shamefaced that their behaviour had been witnessed by their employers.
▪ Either way, everything that had been beginning was now ending, ebbing away without hope.
■ NOUN
flow
▪ How much attention do these programmes pay to the real dynamics of peer group pressures as they ebb and flow across adolescence?
▪ There is no trace of litter, despite the hundreds of affluent shoppers who ebb and flow along these consumerist highways.
tide
▪ The tide was now ebbing fast.
▪ Fortunately, the tide of destruction is ebbing and the tide of conservation is coming in....
▪ But the tide of prosperity ebbed, leaving the town unfinished.
▪ With a yet slower rhythm than the polar ice, the tides of civilization ebbed and flowed across the galaxy.
▪ The tide was ebbing, and they went down on the steeply shelving bed of the Conway.
▪ Moreover, the tide was ebbing and the cumbrous vessel was in danger of running aground and not getting off.
▪ It is a pretty boring place, except tides ebb and flood there, as do the seasons.
EXAMPLES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
▪ I could feel my courage ebbing away.
EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS
▪ As El Ni o ebbs away, drought follows the torrential rain.
▪ But the fear, whatever it was, was ebbing, and I could once again take deep breaths and release them.
▪ But the power of men like Allen ebbed quickly after segregationist Democrats regained command of the Legislature in 1872.
▪ But their strength was ebbing away, and neither DeFreitas nor Botham could contribute, both on the field but carrying injuries.
▪ Delay it, and its vitality would ebb.
▪ Now the excitement had begun to ebb at leaving Miss Tish.
▪ The tide was ebbing, and they went down on the steeply shelving bed of the Conway.
▪ Under these conditions, our normal self-assurance ebbs.
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Ebb

Ebb \Ebb\, v. t. To cause to flow back. [Obs.]
--Ford.

Ebb

Ebb \Ebb\ ([e^]b), n. (Zo["o]l.) The European bunting.

Ebb

Ebb \Ebb\,

  1. Receding; going out; falling; shallow; low.

    The water there is otherwise very low and eb


  2. --Holland.

Ebb

Ebb \Ebb\, n. [AS. ebba; akin to Fries. ebba, D. eb, ebbe, Dan. & G. ebbe, Sw. ebb, cf. Goth. ibuks backward; prob. akin to E. even.]

  1. The reflux or flowing back of the tide; the return of the tidal wave toward the sea; -- opposed to flood; as, the boats will go out on the ebb.

    Thou shoreless flood which in thy ebb and flow Claspest the limits of morality!
    --Shelley.

  2. The state or time of passing away; a falling from a better to a worse state; low state or condition; decline; decay. ``Our ebb of life.''
    --Roscommon.

    Painting was then at its lowest ebb.
    --Dryden.

    Ebb and flow, the alternate ebb and flood of the tide; often used figuratively.

    This alternation between unhealthy activity and depression, this ebb and flow of the industrial.
    --A. T. Hadley.

Ebb

Ebb \Ebb\, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Ebbed; p. pr. & vb. n. Ebbing.] [AS. ebbian; akin to D. & G. ebben, Dan. ebbe. See 2d Ebb.]

  1. To flow back; to return, as the water of a tide toward the ocean; -- opposed to flow.

    That Power who bids the ocean ebb and flow.
    --Pope.

  2. To return or fall back from a better to a worse state; to decline; to decay; to recede.

    The hours of life ebb fast.
    --Blackmore.

    Syn: To recede; retire; withdraw; decay; decrease; wane; sink; lower.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
ebb

Old English ebba "falling of the tide, low tide," perhaps from Proto-Germanic *af- (cognates: Old Frisian ebba, Old Saxon ebbiunga, Middle Dutch ebbe, Dutch eb, German Ebbe), from PIE root *apo- "off, away" (see apo-). Figurative sense of "decline, decay, gradual diminution" is from late 14c. Ebb-tide is from 1776.

ebb

Old English ebbian "flow back, subside," from the root of ebb (n.). Figurative use in late Old English. Related: Ebbed; ebbing.

Wiktionary
ebb
  1. low, shallow n. 1 The receding movement of the tide. 2 A gradual decline. 3 A low state; a state of depression. 4 A European bunting, (taxlink Emberiza miliaria species noshow=1). v

  2. 1 to flow back or recede 2 to fall away or decline 3 to fish with stakes and nets that serve to prevent the fish from getting back into the sea with the ebb 4 (context transitive English) To cause to flow back.

WordNet
ebb
  1. n. a gradual decline (in size or strength or power or number) [syn: ebbing, wane]

  2. the outward flow of the tide [syn: reflux]

ebb
  1. v. flow back or recede; "the tides ebbed at noon" [syn: ebb away, ebb down, ebb out, ebb off] [ant: tide]

  2. hem in fish with stakes and nets so as to prevent them from going back into the sea with the ebb

  3. fall away or decline; "The patient's strength ebbed away"

Wikipedia
Ebb

Ebb is the movement of a tide back toward the sea.

Ebb or EBB may also refer to:

  • Ebb, or GRAIL A, one of the spacecraft of the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory
  • Ebbw Vale Town railway station (station code)
  • École Belge de Bujumbura

Usage examples of "ebb".

He noted the health of the plants in the aeroponics lab, sketching their leaves and marking the ebb and flow of various diseases.

They passed Capel Street bridge and the Inspector saw that the tide on the Liffey was beginning to ebb.

The fifty ducats per month, which were sent me from Venice, were insufficient, for the money I had to spend on my carriage, my lodging, my servant, and my dress brought me down to the lowest ebb, and I did not care to appeal to anyone.

Once, as he put his horse to an earthern bank that dyked farmland from the marsh, he saw the white, fretting line of waves far to the east, and, beyond it, a dark shape in the night that was a moored ship waiting for the ebb.

Her horror had ebbed, over the days, leaving her with crawling skin and a torrent of ideas.

A hundred different manically cheerful tunes sounded from a hundred engines and organs, an unsettling cacophony that ebbed and flowed around them.

And now after the guilt and the uncertainty had ebbed away, after the atavistic disgust and fear had gone, leaving only a nervous, very deep affection, his lover had been taken from him.

He looked up into the darkening sky, the stars dim to him from all the clotted light that surrounded him, that ebbed through the glass below his body.

Isaac would try to negotiate by the ghost image that slowly ebbed from his eyes.

It sounded subdued again, as if its energy had ebbed from it during the journey through the planes of the web.

When the Indian woman told how she had first crossed the path of Macdonald, the color flamed into the cheeks of the Irish girl, but as the story progressed, the blood ebbed even from her lips.

The surge of disgust with which Sheba had broken her engagement to marry Macdonald ebbed away as the weeks passed.

Her strength ebbed, and the hinges of her knees gave unexpectedly beneath her.

The liquid looked to be emerging from at least two of the tunnels, and slowly ebbing out of the others.

As Isaac watched, he saw the Weaver being forced back, its energy always ebbing and flowing, moving like a vicious wind, but gradually retreating.