- 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 ebbing
Barack Obama, the first African-American president, was reelected, indicating that racial hostility toward minorities is ebbing.The Supreme Court’s Ruling and the End of the Civil-Rights Era
June 25, 2013
Three, liberal support for affirmative action as we know it may be ebbing, as “diversity” has become a shorthand for race.How Affirmative Action Became an Upper-Middle Class Benefit
April 7, 2013
The argument could be heard in Israel on Sunday even as protests across the region appeared to be ebbing.
Demonstrations across the Mideast appear to ebbing, but what remains is a foreign-policy headache for President Obama.
There are also signs that the wave of distressed selling that helped push prices lower throughout 2010 and 2011 is ebbing.Existing Home Sales Rise in July
August 22, 2012
Lingard followed her on the edge of the sand uncovered by the ebbing tide.The Rescue
While the cannon were flashing he drifted with the ebbing tide.Daughters of the Revolution and Their Times
Charles Carleton Coffin
The beauty of the ebbing night caught at his sleeve, but the dawn held him back.The Dragon Painter
Mary McNeil Fenollosa
It was the same proposition as Ebbing had reported the delegate offered.Cubs of the Wolf
Raymond F. Jones
They had suddenly begun to throb, poor things, with alarm at the ebbing hours.The Tragic Muse
- (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 ebbing
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.