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1

lapse

play
noun \ˈlaps\

Simple Definition of lapse

  • : an occurrence in which you fail to think or act in the usual or proper way for a brief time and make a mistake

  • : an occurrence in which someone behaves badly for usually a short period of time

  • : a change that results in worse behavior

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of lapse

  1. 1 a :  a slight error typically due to forgetfulness or inattention <a lapse in table manners> b :  a temporary deviation or fall especially from a higher to a lower state <a lapse from grace>

  2. 2 :  a becoming less :  decline

  3. 3 a (1) :  the termination of a right or privilege through neglect to exercise it within some limit of time (2) :  termination of coverage for nonpayment of premiums b :  interruption, discontinuance <returned to college after a lapse of several years>

  4. 4 :  an abandonment of religious faith

  5. 5 :  a passage of time; also :  interval

Examples of lapse in a sentence

  1. He blamed the error on a minor mental lapse.

  2. a lapse into bad habits



Origin of lapse

Latin lapsus, from labi to slip — more at sleep


First Known Use: 1526

Synonym Discussion of lapse

error, mistake, blunder, slip, lapse mean a departure from what is true, right, or proper. error suggests the existence of a standard or guide and a straying from the right course through failure to make effective use of this <procedural errors>. mistake implies misconception or inadvertence and usually expresses less criticism than error <dialed the wrong number by mistake>. blunder regularly imputes stupidity or ignorance as a cause and connotes some degree of blame <diplomatic blunders>. slip stresses inadvertence or accident and applies especially to trivial but embarrassing mistakes <a slip of the tongue>. lapse stresses forgetfulness, weakness, or inattention as a cause <a lapse in judgment>.

Rhymes with lapse


2

lapse

verb

Simple Definition of lapse

  • : to stop for usually a brief time

  • : to become no longer effective or valid

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of lapse

lapsedlapsing

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to fall from an attained and usually high level (as of morals or manners) to one much lower; also :  to depart from an accepted pattern or standard b :  sink, slip <lapsed into unconsciousness>

  3. 2 :  to go out of existence :  cease <after a few polite exchanges, the conversation lapsed>

  4. 3 :  to pass from one proprietor to another or from an original owner by omission or negligence <allowed the insurance policy to lapse>

  5. 4 :  to glide along :  pass <time lapses>

  6. transitive verb
  7. :  to let slip :  forfeit <all of those who have lapsed their membership — AAUP Bulletin>

lapser noun

Examples of lapse in a sentence

  1. After a few polite words the conversation lapsed.

  2. Her interest in politics lapsed while she was in medical school.

  3. She didn't pay the premium and her life insurance policy lapsed.

  4. He forgot to renew his driver's license, so it lapsed.

  5. She allowed the magazine subscription to lapse.



1611

First Known Use of lapse

1611



LAPSE Defined for Kids

1

lapse

play
noun \ˈlaps\

Definition of lapse for Students

  1. 1 :  a slight error usually caused by lack of attention or forgetfulness <a lapse in manners> <lapses in judgment>

  2. 2 :  a change that results in a worse condition <She suffered a lapse in confidence.>

  3. 3 :  a passage of time <He returned after a lapse of two years.>




2

lapse

play
verb

Definition of lapse for Students

lapsedlapsing

  1. 1 :  to slip, pass, or fall gradually <The conversation lapsed into silence.>

  2. 2 :  to come to an end :  cease <The car insurance lapsed.>




Law Dictionary

1

lapse

play
noun \ˈlaps\

Legal Definition of lapse

  1. :  a termination or failure due to events, neglect, or time: as a :  the failure of a bequest (as because the intended recipient dies before the testator) — compare anti-lapse statute b :  the termination of an insurance policy because of nonpayment of premiums or nonrenewal




2

lapse

verb

Legal Definition of lapse

lapsedlapsing

  1. intransitive verb
  2. :  to terminate, become ineffective, or fail <the bequest lapsed when the son died before the father> <allowed the insurance policy to lapse>
  3. transitive verb
  4. :  to cause (as a policy) to lapse <the company lapsed the policy>





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