\i-ˈlaps \
elapsed; elapsing

Definition of elapse 

(Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

: pass, go by four years elapsed before he returned



Definition of elapse (Entry 2 of 2)

: passage returned after an elapse of 15 years

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Examples of elapse in a Sentence


in those coin-operated binoculars at scenic areas your viewing time seems to elapse almost before it has begun

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Try not to let more than four hours elapse between meals and make sure each meal includes protein, for an extra metabolic boost. Redbook, "23 Ridiculously Easy Ways to Increase Metabolism," 26 July 2017 Lots of discussion these days about how to speed up the game of baseball, from the length of video replays to the time elapsed between pitches. Bob Brookover, Philly.com, "Enyel De Los Santos' arm and Maikel Franco's bat guide Phillies into first | Extra Innings," 11 July 2018 Doctors will not be allowed to write refills for the medications until the 7-day period has elapsed. Georgea Kovanis, Detroit Free Press, "New Michigan law limits amount of opioids doctors can prescribe," 28 June 2018 With seven-plus years having elapsed since his last concerts in Los Angeles, Sir Rod more than made up for lost time on the second night of a two-date homecoming gig featuring special guest Cyndi Lauper. Gail Mitchell, Billboard, "Rod Stewart Announces New Album, Proves He's 'Forever Young' at Hollywood Bowl," 27 June 2018 In the absence of library board meeting minutes, which the library’s longtime director was not immediately able to find, the Daily Southtown could not independently verify the amount of time that had elapsed since the board last existed. Zak Koeske, Daily Southtown, "For years, there's been no financial oversight at the Calumet Park library. Now the state is getting involved.," 13 July 2018 Before four minutes had elapsed, the Warriors led 13-3 and Curry had nine. Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle, "Stephen Curry started — and carried — a Warriors’ dynasty," 8 June 2018 Trochesset was responding to uncertainty about why 30 minutes elapsed before the teen was taken into custody on Friday morning. Washington Post, "Authorities in Texas say they confronted school gunman within 4 minutes," 21 May 2018 The decision is coming hours before temporary exemptions were due to elapse at 12:01 a.m. in Washington on Friday. Fortune, "U.S. Is Set to Impose Tariffs on Steel From EU, Canada, Mexico," 31 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'elapse.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of elapse


1644, in the meaning defined above


circa 1677, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for elapse


Latin elapsus, past participle of elabi, from e- + labi to slip — more at sleep

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Learn More about elapse

Dictionary Entries near elapse





elapsed time



Statistics for elapse

Last Updated

9 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for elapse

The first known use of elapse was in 1644

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More Definitions for elapse



English Language Learners Definition of elapse

of time : to pass by


\i-ˈlaps \
elapsed; elapsing

Kids Definition of elapse

: to slip past : go by Nearly a year elapsed before his return.

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