Part of speech:
(Like "sleep," "skydive," and "succeed," all intransitive verbs show complete action on their own and do not do action to an object. You sleep, you skydive, you succeed, and that's it. You don't "sleep a bed," "skydive a plane," or "succeed a plan".
Likewise, something ebbs.)
Literally, when the ocean's tide ebbs, it flows away from land. Figuratively, when something ebbs, it gets lower, or it gets less. Imagine something slowly flowing away like the tidewater, and that's something ebbing.
How to use it:
Talk about someone's energy ebbing (decreasing), or something's power ebbing (becoming less strong), or someone's enthusiasm ebbing (reducing), or something's popularity ebbing (going down), and so on. Your courage, fame, interest, etc. can all ebb. To talk about something that gets stronger and weaker again and again, use the phrase "ebb and flow," meaning "decreasing and increasing."
Parents' influence over their young teenagers often ebbs, unfortunately, right when that influence is most desperately needed.
Customer complaints ebbed at the pizza parlor when the new owners implemented higher standards for food quality and preparation.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You'll know you understand what "ebb" means when you can explain it without saying "decrease" or "lower."
Think of something you don't really care much about anymore, and fill in the blanks: "My enthusiasm for ____ ebbed when _____."
Example: "My enthusiasm for fashionable jewelry ebbed when my baby girl got big enough to grab at anything dangling off of me."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don't go straight to the review now; let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
This month's game is "guess the common word based on the given literal root meanings." Try it out each day and see the right answer the next day. It can be fun and illuminating to see the literal meanings of words when they came into the language! More than one right answer might be possible in some cases, just so you know. Also, it's okay if you can't come up with most or even any of the answers on your own; just check out the solutions and you'll learn the roots as you go along this month.
"intensive" + "strong" = ?
Try this one today:
"with" + "beat/fight" = ?
A Point Well Made:
Cicero: "Friends, though absent, are still present."
1. The opposite of EBB is
2. _____, there has been no ebb in the number of car wrecks since the speed limit was lowered on this road.
Answers are below.
To be a sponsor and send your own message to readers of this list, please contact Liesl at Liesl@HiloTutor.com.
Make Your Point is crafted with love and brought to you each day for free by Mrs. Liesl Johnson, M.Ed., a word lover, learning enthusiast, and private tutor of reading and writing in the verdant little town of Hilo, Hawaii. For writing tips, online learning, essay guidance, and more, please visit www.HiloTutor.com.
Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
Answers to review questions:
Subscribe to "Make Your Point" for a daily vocabulary boost.