the flowing back of the tide as the water returns to the sea (opposed to , ).
a flowing backward or away; decline or decay:
the ebb of a once great nation.
a point of decline:
His fortunes were at a low ebb.
verb (used without object)
to flow back or away, as the water of a tide (opposed to ).
to decline or decay; fade away:
His life is gradually ebbing.
(of tide water) to flow back or recede Compare flow (sense 9)
to fall away or decline
at a low ebb, in a state or period of weakness, lack of vigour, or decline
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.
Old English ebbian, from the root of ebb (n.). Related: Ebbed; ebbing.
In addition to the idioms beginning with ebb ebb and flow
noun 1. the reflux of the tide or the tide at ebb; ebb. ebb tide (ěb) The period between high tide and low tide during which water flows away from the shore. Also called falling tide. Compare flood tide. See more at tide.
- Ebbw vale
/ˌɛbuː ˈveɪl/ noun 1. a town in S Wales, in Blaenau Gwent county borough: a former coal mining centre. Pop: 18 558 (2001)
[eb-see-dik] /ˈɛb siˌdɪk/ noun, Computers. 1. a code consisting of 256 8-bit characters and used for data representation and transfer. /ˈɛbsɪˌdɪk/ noun acronym 1. extended binary-coded decimal-interchange code: a computer code for representing alphanumeric characters Extended Binary Coded Decimal Interchange Code extended binary coded decimal interchange code
spelling It’s spelled “EBCDIC”. (1996-12-13)