noun re·lapse \ri-ˈlaps, ˈrē-ˌ\

: the return of an illness after a period of improvement

: a return to bad behavior that you had stopped doing

Full Definition of RELAPSE

:  the act or an instance of backsliding, worsening, or subsiding
:  a recurrence of symptoms of a disease after a period of improvement

Examples of RELAPSE

  1. Everyone thought she was well until a sudden relapse sent her back to the hospital.
  2. a drug addict who has had a relapse
  3. a drug addict who has a history of relapse

Origin of RELAPSE

Middle English, from Medieval Latin relapsus, from Latin relabi to slide back, from re- + labi to slide — more at sleep
First Known Use: 15th century


verb re·lapse \ri-ˈlaps\

: to become ill again after a period of improvement in health

of an illness : to return or become worse after leaving or improving for a period of time

: to return to a bad condition, form of behavior, etc.


Full Definition of RELAPSE

intransitive verb
:  to slip or fall back into a former worse state
:  sink, subside <relapse into deep thought>
re·laps·er noun

Examples of RELAPSE

  1. If you don't continue your treatment, you could relapse.
  2. Malaria can relapse years after the original infection.
  3. The country soon relapsed into chaos.
  4. She stayed out of trouble for a long time, but then she relapsed into her old ways.

First Known Use of RELAPSE

circa 1534


Next Word in the Dictionary: relapsing feverPrevious Word in the Dictionary: relampAll Words Near: relapse
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