ebb and flow

(redirected from ebbs and flows)

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. © 2015 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 ?
Yet the ear, it fully knows, By the twanging And the clanging, How the danger ebbs and flows; Yet, the ear distinctly tells, In the jangling And the wrangling, How the danger sinks and swells, By the sinking or the swelling in the anger of the bells - Of the bells - Of the bells, bells, bells, bells, Bells, bells, bells - In the clamour and the clangour of the bells!
Faces that fall into types you can describe, or at all events label in such a way that the reader can identify them; but those faces that consist mainly of spiritual effect and physical bloom, that change with everything they look upon, the light in which ebbs and flows with every changing tide of the soul,--these you have to love to know, and to worship to portray.
Life can be happy Life can be sad And life can be cruel as well The ups and the downs The smiles and the frowns Can each come along for a spell When you are young When you're care free And life is a laugh as you play It doesn't take much Just a slip or a touch To chase all the laughter away When you grow up And follow your team And you're at a big game with your dreams As the game ebbs and flows At the highs and the lows Your emotions will reach the extremes When you grow old When the legs slow you down And you start to look back down the years Inspite of the strain You'll still feel the same You will still see the laughter and tears by Doug Sharkey, Birkenhead
That's a pretty blunt traffic management tool: It ignores the fact that congestion ebbs and flows during the day, forcing motorists to pay the same amount whether they enter the zone during rush hour or at noon, for five minutes or for five hours.
His confidence ebbs and flows in his athletics as well and during the last chapter and state cross-country race, the reader will cheer him on to victory.
Inequality and hardship are distributed as social change ebbs and flows.
The Prairie Tides: The Ebbs and Flows of an Era is the saga of the author's grandfather, who emigrated from Europe to find a new life and the changes of the Kansas society around him.
Their collaborative work often charts the ebbs and flows of those signals and presents scenarios in which they become audible and visible.
James church survive the ebbs and flows that most churches have struggled with in.
Crime itself, as a theme, ebbs and flows alongside discussions of contemporary perceptions of social, moral and cultural divisions, problems and threats, but it is surprising how little we learn that is really new about geographies of class and crime outside the pages of a few novelists and social commentators.
Neuroscientists such as Flaherty are interested in how creative desire ebbs and flows and the connections between mood disorders and creativity.
GroundWorks Dancetheater, a mature ensemble of former ballet dancers, rose to the challenge with Artistic Director David Shimotakahara's The Book of Water, a poetic abstraction that ebbs and flows in imagery suggesting ocean waves, sea creatures, and human beings connecting to one another.
While increased leasing activity, pockets of tightening space, and fewer and fewer short-term subleases are evidence of a market in recovery, we know that the market ebbs and flows with consumer confidence.