lapse

noun
\ ˈlaps How to pronounce lapse (audio) \

Definition of lapse

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a slight error typically due to forgetfulness or inattention a lapse in table manners a lapse in security
b : a temporary deviation or fall especially from a higher to a lower state a lapse from grace ethical lapses
2 : a becoming less : decline a lapse in the supply of technicians
3a(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 the lapse of an insurance policy
b : interruption, discontinuance returned to college after a lapse of several years
4 : an abandonment of religious faith
5 : a passage of time also : interval the roots of trees … have been preserved after a lapse of five thousand years — Niger Calder

lapse

verb
lapsed; lapsing

Definition of lapse (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : 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
2 : to go out of existence : cease after a few polite exchanges, the conversation lapsed
3 : to pass from one proprietor to another or from an original owner by omission or negligence allowed the insurance policy to lapse
4 : to glide along : pass time lapses

transitive verb

: to let slip : forfeit all of those who have lapsed their membershipAAUP Bull.

Other Words from lapse

Verb

lapser noun

Choose the Right Synonym for lapse

Noun

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

Examples of lapse in a Sentence

Noun He blamed the error on a minor mental lapse. a lapse into bad habits Verb After a few polite words the conversation lapsed. Her interest in politics lapsed while she was in medical school. She didn't pay the premium and her life insurance policy lapsed. He forgot to renew his driver's license, so it lapsed. She allowed the magazine subscription to lapse. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Vick said being hydrated would allow the Tigers to make good decisions and not have a lapse in judgment. J.t. Keith, USA TODAY, 6 Sep. 2022 As for Desiree, her busy stage career has not kept her from a lapse in judgment. Don Aucoin, BostonGlobe.com, 11 Aug. 2022 Jim Miller didn’t think too much of what seemed like a momentarily lapse in concentration. Kate Santich, Orlando Sentinel, 1 Aug. 2022 In a statement posted on its Facebook page, the museum blamed a lapse in vendor oversight, noting the label and salad were not reviewed by museum staff. Anne D'innocenzio, Chron, 17 June 2022 In a statement posted on its Facebook page, the museum blamed a lapse in vendor oversight, noting the label and salad were not reviewed by museum staff. Anne D'innocenzio, Chicago Tribune, 17 June 2022 The man who shot and killed 26 people in a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, in 2017 was able to purchase an assault-style rifle because of a lapse in the background-check process. Natalie Andrews, WSJ, 25 May 2022 Without stimulus checks and a lapse in monthly Child Tax Credit payments, Americans in dire financial circumstances are swiping credit cards more frequently compared to a year ago. Bill Hardekopf, Forbes, 5 May 2022 Meta's shares have fallen more than 40% over the past six months, with much of the loss in value following a rough holiday quarter earnings report which showed, among other things, a rare lapse in user growth. Clare Duffy, CNN, 19 Feb. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb A few years later, McDonald's manager David List told Smith that Universal had allowed its option on the Fletch novels to lapse, and the filmmaker persuaded Miramax to buy the rights, planning to reboot the franchise with Jason Lee in the lead role. Clark Collis, EW.com, 16 Sep. 2022 Others are often conscientious about holding runners but will allow their attention to lapse in certain — sometimes predictable — situations. Steve Henson, Los Angeles Times, 23 Aug. 2022 Its funding was even allowed to lapse entirely in 2018, after Republicans in the Senate failed to agree on an appropriate amount. Wes Siler, Outside Online, 14 Aug. 2020 The premium subsidies were included in the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package enacted last year and were set to lapse at the end of the year. Melissa Quinn, CBS News, 8 Aug. 2022 During the Obama administration, expiring Republican tax cuts for most households were made permanent, but those for the highest-income Americans were allowed to lapse. Richard Rubin, WSJ, 3 Sep. 2022 Instead, Pernel said council will let their deadline lapse on the nomination, effectively confirming it. Kaitlin Durbin, cleveland, 6 June 2022 These were often set up in good faith but allowed to lapse into mudslinging, thanks to lax moderation—think TripAdvisor, but for Tinder, mashed up with Twitter-level rage. Mark Ellwood, Robb Report, 4 June 2022 Either way, these new rates won't go into effect until the deferment period is allowed to lapse. Robert Farrington, Forbes, 3 June 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of lapse

Noun

1526, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1611, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for lapse

Noun and Verb

Latin lapsus, from labi to slip — more at sleep

Learn More About lapse

Dictionary Entries Near lapse

Lapsang souchong

lapse

lap seam

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for lapse

Last Updated

30 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Lapse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lapse. Accessed 6 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for lapse

lapse

noun
\ ˈlaps How to pronounce lapse (audio) \

Kids Definition of lapse

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a slight error usually caused by lack of attention or forgetfulness a lapse in manners lapses in judgment
2 : a change that results in a worse condition She suffered a lapse in confidence.
3 : a passage of time He returned after a lapse of two years.

lapse

verb
lapsed; lapsing

Kids Definition of lapse (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to slip, pass, or fall gradually The conversation lapsed into silence.
2 : to come to an end : cease The car insurance lapsed.

lapse

noun
\ ˈlaps How to pronounce lapse (audio) \

Legal Definition of lapse

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

lapse

verb
lapsed; lapsing

Legal Definition of lapse (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to terminate, become ineffective, or fail the bequest lapsed when the son died before the father allowed the insurance policy to lapse

transitive verb

: to cause (as a policy) to lapse the company lapsed the policy

More from Merriam-Webster on lapse

Nglish: Translation of lapse for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lapse for Arabic Speakers

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