Abate, subside, wane and ebb all mean to die down in force or intensity.
What’s the difference?
Abate stresses a progressive diminishing.
- The storms had abated by the time they rounded Cape Horn.
Subside suggests a falling to a low level and an easing of turbulence.
- She waited nervously for his anger to subside.
Wane adds to abate an implication of fading or weakening and is often used of something impressive or intense.
- The moon was waning, and each day it rose later.
- While his interest in these sports began to wane, a passion for rugby developed.
Ebb suggests a gradual waning, especially of something that commonly comes and goes.
- As night fell, our enthusiasm began to ebb away.