At a low ebb



At a low point, in a state of decline or depression. For example, The current recession has put our business at a low ebb. This idiom transfers the low point of a tide to a decline in human affairs. [ Mid-1600s ]

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  • Cast

    to throw or hurl; fling: The gambler cast the dice. to throw off or away: He cast the advertisement in the wastebasket. to direct (the eye, a glance, etc.), especially in a cursory manner: She cast her eyes down the page. to cause to fall upon something or in a certain direction; send forth: to […]

  • At a stretch

    Also, at one stretch . At one time, during one period. For example, Working quickly, she hoped to finish all the drawings at a stretch . In contrast to the nearly synonymous at a sitting , this idiom, first recorded in 1774, does not imply being seated while engaging in a single continuous activity. Rather, […]



  • At a sitting

    At one time, during one period. For example, The cruise ship could feed about 500 passengers at a sitting, or We read the entire poem at a sitting. Since the word sitting implies just that posture, the term means “during a period when one is seated and engaged in a single continuous activity.”

  • At a time

    see: at one time , def. 1.



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