ebb vs ebbing what difference

what is difference between ebb and ebbing



From Middle English ebbe, from Old English ebba (ebb, tide), from Proto-Germanic *abjô, *abjǭ (compare West Frisian ebbe, Dutch eb, German Ebbe, Danish ebbe, Old Norse efja (countercurrent)), from Proto-Germanic *ab (off, away), from Proto-Indo-European *apó. (compare Old English af). More at of, off.


  • enPR: ĕb, IPA(key): /ɛb/
  • Rhymes: -ɛb


ebb (plural ebbs)

  1. The receding movement of the tide.
    • 1824, Mary Shelley, Time
      Thou shoreless flood which in thy ebb and flow / Claspest the limits of morality!
    • 1902, John Buchan, The Outgoing of the Tide
      Men come from distant parts to admire the tides of Solway, which race in at flood and retreat at ebb with a greater speed than a horse can follow.
  2. A gradual decline.
    • 1684, Wentworth Dillon, 4th Earl of Roscommon, Essay on Translated Verse
      Thus all the treasure of our flowing years, / Our ebb of life for ever takes away.
    • 1826, Mary Shelley, The Last Man
      This reflection thawed my congealing blood, and again the tide of life and love flowed impetuously onward, again to ebb as my busy thoughts changed.
  3. (especially in the phrase ‘at a low ebb’) A low state; a state of depression.
    • Painting was then at its lowest ebb.
    • 2002, Joyce Carol Oates, The New Yorker, 22 & 29 April
      A “lowest ebb” implies something singular and finite, but for many of us, born in the Depression and raised by parents distrustful of fortune, an “ebb” might easily have lasted for years.
  4. A European bunting, the corn bunting (Emberiza calandra, syns. Emberiza miliaria, Milaria calandra).


  • flood
  • flow

Derived terms

  • ebb and flow
  • ebb tide

Related terms

  • neap
  • tide



ebb (third-person singular simple present ebbs, present participle ebbing, simple past and past participle ebbed)

  1. (intransitive) to flow back or recede
  2. (intransitive) to fall away or decline
  3. (intransitive) to fish with stakes and nets that serve to prevent the fish from getting back into the sea with the ebb
  4. (transitive) To cause to flow back.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Ford to this entry?)


ebb away, ebb down, ebb off, ebb out, reflux, wane



ebb (comparative ebber, superlative ebbest)

  1. low, shallow
    • All the sea lying betweene, is verie ebbe, full of shallowes and shelves


  • BBE



ebb c

  1. ebb; low tide
    Antonyms: flod, högvatten
    Synonym: lågvatten




  • IPA(key): /ˈɛbɪŋ/
  • Rhymes: -ɛbɪŋ



  1. present participle of ebb


ebbing (plural ebbings)

  1. The action of something that ebbs.
    ebbings and flowings


  • Big Ben

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