ebb and flow

(redirected from ebbing and flowing)

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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
See also:
References in classic literature ?
Keeling Island -- Singular appearance -- Scanty Flora -- Transport of Seeds -- Birds and Insects -- Ebbing and flowing Springs -- Fields of dead Coral -- Stones transported in the roots of Trees -- Great Crab -- Stinging Corals -- Coral eating Fish -- Coral Formations -- Lagoon Islands, or Atolls -- Depth at which reef-building Corals can live -- Vast Areas interspersed with low Coral Islands -- Subsidence of their foundations -- Barrier Reefs -- Fringing Reefs -- Conversion of Fringing Reefs into Barrier Reefs, and into Atolls -- Evidence of changes in Level -- Breaches in Barrier Reefs -- Maldiva Atolls, their peculiar structure -- Dead and submerged Reefs -- Areas of subsidence and elevation -- Distribution of Volcanoes -- Subsidence slow, and vast in amount
The poorest paid architect, engineer, general, author, sculptor, painter, lecturer, advocate, legislator, actor, preacher, singer is constructively in heaven when he is at work; and as for the musician with the fiddle-bow in his hand who sits in the midst of a great orchestra with the ebbing and flowing tides of divine sound washing over him -- why, certainly, he is at work, if you wish to call it that, but lord, it's a sarcasm just the same.
A skeptic might suspect that the facilitation test makes the ebbing and flowing of principles superfluous, but Ravitch makes precisely the opposite claim, stating several times that this strategy could be used even if the facilitation test were rejected.
The bustling streets, full of the colour of many nations, side by side Living together, co-existing and resisting, nourished by Mersey pride Ebbing and flowing, like the flow of the tide, on cast iron shores Effortlessly laughing, caring, sharing, what is mine, is also yours
The festival's opening picture, Chaos and Desire concerns a seismologist (Pascale Bussieres) investigating her own psyche as she studies a weird phenomenon in the region of her hometown: the tides are no longer ebbing and flowing. During an interview, Briand told me: "The film talks about a kind of natural disaster, but it's a non--disaster.
The dancers formed graceful towers of bodies, suggesting winter's ice, which dissolved into waves ebbing and flowing across the floor, or rising up and surging as springs and freshets.