the ebb and flow


Also found in: Wikipedia.

ebb and flow

1. verb To consistently increase and decrease. I wouldn't worry too much about losing money this quarter because we'll earn it back later in the year. That's just how business ebbs and flows.
2. noun A period of consistent increase and decrease. I wouldn't worry too much because we always lose money this quarter and then earn it back later in the year. It's just the natural ebb and flow of business.
See also: and, ebb, flow

ebb and flow

to decrease and then increase, as with tides; a decrease followed by an increase, as with tides. The fortunes of the major political parties tend to ebb and flow over time. The ebb and flow of democracy through history is a fascinating subject.
See also: and, ebb, flow

ebb and flow

A decline and increase, constant fluctuations. For example, He was fascinated by the ebb and flow of the Church's influence over the centuries. This expression alludes to the inward and outward movement of ocean tides. [Late 1500s]
See also: and, ebb, flow

ebb and flow

COMMON The ebb and flow of something is the way that it continuously changes, especially in its amount or level. The advantage to the employer is flexibility to cope with the commercial ebb and flow. The vineyards are tucked into small clearings formed by the natural ebb and flow of the hills and the trees. Note: Ebb and flow is also used as a verb meaning to change continuously, especially in amount or level. During those thirty years the fortunes of the British film industry ebbed and flowed. Note: This expression comes from the idea of the tide ebbing and flowing (= going in and out).
See also: and, ebb, flow

ebb and flow

a recurrent or rhythmical pattern of coming and going or decline and regrowth.
This expression makes reference to the regular movement of the tides, where ebb means move away from the land and flow move back towards it.
See also: and, ebb, flow

the ˌebb and ˈflow (of somebody/something)

the repeated, often regular, movement from one state to another; the repeated change in level, numbers or amount: the ebb and flow of money/seasonsShe sat quietly, enjoying the ebb and flow of conversation.
This expression refers to the movement of the sea away from and towards the land.
See also: and, ebb, flow
References in periodicals archive ?
Flying the flag The Ebb and Flow banner at Arthurlie House, with John West, Joan Oliphant and Gill West, who worked on the project
But I do love Doha's cold weather which ebbs and flows with the ebb and flow of the chilly air.
As We Go AS we go and we so come, Life to us is on the run, Our numbers get bigger as we live, To us all is the take and give, Life is like a whirlwind, But around it other things are rimmed, So fast that time just ebbs away, With our thoughts and minds to play, Others join in the game, Some can make it very plain, Never being alone, someone always there, Even if, in apprehension, they do stare, We are all different, given from our past, In a formula of time being cast, In theory I am different from you, But with many things in common to do, To be a soul in the ebb and flow, Constant learning there to know, A spirit of life in many a form, In this of its trials to be known, To bloom in knowledge of what is there, With others around our lives to share.
If the wetlands were functioning properly, bacterial counts would be reduced during ebb tide and that there would be a significant difference between the ebb and flow tide samples, however they were nearly identical.
Presumably, the dynamics can change rather quickly with the ebb and flow of events occurring far from home," he added.
In Dreamtime, to David van Teighem's stabbing music, the group staked out territory, their march having the ebb and flow of an obstinate tide.
But in all these works, a rivulet runs through it, a perpetual bathing and cleansing that signifies baptism and absolution, a gradual immersion in the ebb and flow of time and memory.
The ebb and flow of certain grades of ferrous scrap is certainly one indicator, especially if one concludes that most material being shredded comes from the obsolete stream.
The usual sensibility used in the production of her songs was notably absent: the structure and story line, the ebb and flow of her sound.
7 billion years, this artistic depiction of 2005 represents the lunar phases, the ebb and flow of tides, the ratio of sunlight to darkness, the positions of stars and planets depending on the time of year, and the behavior of vegetation and animal life.
Either way I like to see the ebb and flow of opinions from day to day.
This simple zone approach has the added benefit of forcing most opposing teams to abandon the zone in favor of a man-to-man defense, allowing your squad to dictate the ebb and flow of the game.
12) The water into which the helicopter crashed was three to five feet deep and was subject to the ebb and flow of the tides of the Gulf of Mexico.
The ebb and flow of cerebral currents suggests that babies discern a change from one syllable to another in less than one-half second, assert psychologists Ghislaine Dehaene-Lambertz and Stanislas Dehaene at the University of Oregon in Eugene.
Of course, these rankings do not reflect the ebb and flow of network attention over time.