ebb and flow

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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 classic literature ?
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.
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.
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.
It's just sort of the natural way that growth ebbs and flows,'' said Gail Ortiz, a city of Santa Clarita spokeswoman.
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.
Despite Bouajila's charmless performance, the film ebbs and flows according to its hero's encounters.
Beginning with discussions of modernism, Nan Ellin's Postmodern Urbanism traces and contextualizes the ebbs and flows of the postmodern debate about the city especially among architectural and urban design theorists.
under no less penalty on the violation of any of them than that of having my throat cut across, my tongue torn out by the root, and buried in the sand of the sea at low water mark, or a cable's length from the shore, where the tide regularly ebbs and flows twice in 24 hours.
While there always will be ebbs and flows in the amount of capital going to emerging markets, investors worldwide are exploring foreign opportunities to an unprecedented degree.
economy goes, so goes the PEO market, with contraction and expansion that mirrors the ebbs and flows of the employment outlook," continued Ms.
keeping them all distinct while maintaining suspense that ebbs and flows throughout.