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Definition decline — typically gradually as with the height of the tide
  • The patient's strength ebbed away.
ebbed = gradually declined
  • It was a time when their relationship was at its lowest ebb.
  • ebb = decline
  • The jellyfish ride the ebb tide until they hit a sandbar, and then descend beneath the current.
  • ebb = receding (declining)
  • The tides ebbed at noon.
  • ebbed = started receding (decreasing)
  • After the incident, support for the policy ebbed.
  • ebbed = declined
  • Tally trudged ahead, exhaustion taking over now that they were safely out of the city, her confidence ebbing with every step.
    Scott Westerfeld  --  Uglies
  • ebbing = decreasing
  • I could already feel my strength ebbing.
    Rick Riordan  --  The Hidden Oracle
  • ebbing = decreasing
  • Sensitive to the ebb and flow of teenage romance, Ed often chose slow songs to get a couple back together.
    Homer Hickam  --  October Sky
  • ebb and flow = recurring pattern of decrease and increase
  • He blew his nose on a corner of the filthy pillowcase he wore, looking so pathetic that Harry felt his anger ebb away in spite of himself.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  • ebb = decrease
  • My anticipation at having my own book ebbed to a sinking disappointment.
    Mildred D. Taylor  --  Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
  • ebbed = declined
  • The thunder ebbed.
    Natalie Babbitt  --  Tuck Everlasting
  • ebbed = gradually declined
  • The grip of his limbs tightened again, but the pain had ebbed away and the trembling had stopped, leaving him merely weak and cold.
    George Orwell  --  1984
  • ebbed = decreased
  • Gita cannot stop morale from ebbing away.
    Heather Morris  --  The Tattooist of Auschwitz
  • ebbing = declining
  • From the guard towers the lights scanned steadily, making shadows ebb and flow among the barracks like dark, square waves.
    Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston & James D. Houston  --  Farewell to Manzanar
  • ebb and flow = recurring pattern of decrease and increase
  • After a time, at a hint from Roger Chillingworth, the friends of Mr. Dimmesdale effected an arrangement by which the two were lodged in the same house; so that every ebb and flow of the minister's life-tide might pass under the eye of his anxious and attached physician.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • ebb and flow = recurring pattern of decrease and increase
  • His mother was a witch; and one so strong
    That could control the moon, make flows and ebbs,
    William Shakespeare  --  The Tempest
  • ebbs = a gradual decline — such as the height of the tide
  • (his violence ebbing away into defeat as quickly as it flooded) You're right.
    Athol Fugard  --  Master Harold...and the Boys
  • ebbing = declining
  • By this time the tide was beginning to ebb, and the ship was swinging round to her anchor.
    Robert Louis Stevenson  --  Treasure Island
  • ebb = gradually fall
  • So long as he walked four miles an hour, he pumped that blood, willy-nilly, to the surface; but now it ebbed away and sank down into the recesses of his body.
    Jack London  --  To Build a Fire
  • ebbed = gradually declined
  • The ship was leaving the frontiers of the Solar System: the energies that powered the Stardrive were ebbing fast, but they had done their work.
    Arthur C. Clarke  --  Childhood's End

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