Definition of ebb noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//eb//
; NAmE NAmE//eb//
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  • the ebb [usually singular] the period of time when the sea flows away from the land the ebb tide
  • Word OriginOld English ebba (noun), ebbian (verb), of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch ebbe (noun), ebben (verb), and ultimately to of which had the primary sense ‘away from’.Extra examples It was difficult sailing upstream against a strong ebb. They left port on the ebb tide. They went out to sea with the ebb. We floated away from the beach on the ebb. We see a constant ebb and flow of jobs. the natural ebb and flow of waterIdioms in a poor state; worse than usual Morale among teachers is at a low ebb.
    the ebb and flow (of something/somebody)
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    the repeated, often regular, movement from one state to another; the repeated change in level, numbers or amount the ebb and flow of the seasons She sat in silence enjoying the ebb and flow of conversation. He had known her long enough to recognize the ebb and flow of her moods.
    See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: ebb

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