the ebb and flow of

the ebb and flow of something

the continually changing character of something There is a normal ebb and flow in nature, for example, when there is just the right amount of rain and when there is not enough.
Usage notes: often said about something that regularly gets larger and smaller: There's a constant ebb and flow of traffic on the highway.
Related vocabulary: ups and downs
See also: and, ebb, flow, of
References in classic literature ?
He listened intently to the ebb and flow of these sounds.
But Maria Silva read a different tale in the hollow cheeks and the burning eyes, and she noted the changes in them from day to day, by them following the ebb and flow of his fortunes.
Parted by life and death; the ebb and flow Of night and day over his spirit go; He hunts her face in dreams, and finds despair.
He talks about the economic movement, and the ebb and flow of capital; the devil knows what he means.
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.
So rather than point to one particular area, I think it's just part of the ebb and flow of the season.
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.
Without increasing expense loads, carriers are virtually stuck, unable to shift with the ebb and flow of the hard and soft markets.
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.
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.