- to flow back or away, as the water of a tide (opposed to flow).
- to decline or decay; fade away: His life is gradually ebbing.
Origin of ebb
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for ebbed
This notion of American opportunity has ebbed and flowed, but generally gained ground well into the 1960s and 1970s.In the Future We'll All Be Renters: America's Disappearing Middle Class
August 10, 2014
The fate of many anti-poverty programs has ebbed and flowed ever since.Marco Rubio Is Wrong: The War on Poverty Worked
January 6, 2014
The crowds who showed up long after the excitement had ebbed were not driven there by ideology.What Ben Affleck’s 'Argo' Misses About Iran
October 27, 2012
The wave of enthusiasm that swept Barack Obama into office in 2008 has ebbed.Mark McKinnon on Obama’s Demographic Worries
October 23, 2012
Over the years, with every attack, the public mood has ebbed from outrage to a feeling of resignation and helplessness.Mumbai’s High Terror Risk
July 15, 2011
I have ebbed and flowed, sometimes with a little money, sometimes without.The Stark Munro Letters
J. Stark Munro
Last night's tide had flowed and ebbed, and the dwellings of men were not submerged.The Christian
His anger had ebbed, his fury had dashed itself against a rock.The Manxman
The anger had ebbed from Dan's brain, although his attitude had not relaxed.The Destroyer
Burton Egbert Stevenson
It had ebbed from him with his blood, or waned with his fever.The Wild Geese
Stanley John Weyman
- (of tide water) to flow back or recedeCompare flow (def. 9)
- to fall away or decline
- the flowing back of the tide from high to low water or the period in which this takes place
- (as modifier)the ebb tide Compare flood (def. 3)
- at a low ebb in a state or period of weakness, lack of vigour, or decline
Word Origin and History for ebbed
Old English ebbian, from the root of ebb (n.). Related: Ebbed; ebbing.
Old English ebba "ebb, low tide," perhaps from Proto-Germanic *abjon (cf. Old Frisian ebba, Old Saxon ebbiunga, Middle Dutch ebbe, Dutch eb, German Ebbe), from *ab-, from PIE root *apo- "off, away" (see apo-). Figurative sense of "decline, decay" is c.1400.