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.

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun House Ways and Means Committee chairman Richard Neal, a Democrat from Massachusetts, and Representative Earl Blumenauer, an Oregon Democrat who chairs the trade subcommittee, blamed lack of engagement from Republicans for the program lapse. BostonGlobe.com, 7 July 2021 To help jobless Americans prepare for the lapse of the benefit, Fortune has created a state-by-state timeline of when $300 weekly enhanced unemployment payments will end. Nicolas Rapp, Fortune, 18 June 2021 Greenpeace later donated money to a charity supported by Basel, which was fined by UEFA for the security lapse. CiarÁn Fahey, Star Tribune, 16 June 2021 Kelly Osbourne is opening up about her recent lapse in sobriety. Cydney Henderson, USA TODAY, 28 Apr. 2021 Dolecki, the fittest of the three, was to wait for a lapse in the soldiers’ attention, sneak through bushes and into the desert, get as big a head start as possible before his absence was noticed, and make for the border some 25 miles away. Jonathan M. Pitts, baltimoresun.com, 11 Nov. 2020 Though the moratorium has not stopped all evictions through the pandemic, its lapse could put millions more at risk of losing their homes. Bailey Loosemore, The Courier-Journal, 18 June 2021 The bumps featured bizarre jokes and scenarios through text, time-lapse, b-roll and other avant-garde camera work and editing. Rosa Escandon, Forbes, 8 June 2021 By publicizing its tool, Bitdefender alerted DarkSide to the lapse, which involved reusing the same digital keys to lock and unlock multiple victims. Renee Dudley, ProPublica, 24 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The flash flood warning for that area is scheduled to lapse at 6:45 p.m. Paighten Harkins, The Salt Lake Tribune, 26 July 2021 But as these temporary waivers began to lapse, Dana-Farber changed its policy. Barak Richman, WSJ, 12 July 2021 Cosby was indicted in 2015 just days before the twelve-year statute of limitations was to lapse. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, 30 June 2021 The payments are set to lapse after a year, but Biden is pushing to extend them through at least 2025. Josh Boak, ajc, 15 July 2021 The payments are set to lapse after a year, but Biden is pushing to extend them through at least 2025. Josh Boak, Anchorage Daily News, 15 July 2021 The payments are set to lapse after a year, but Biden is pushing to extend them through at least 2025. Josh Boak, Chron, 15 July 2021 The payments are set to lapse after a year, but Biden is pushing to extend them through at least 2025. Josh Boak, Star Tribune, 15 July 2021 The payments are set to lapse after a year, but Biden is pushing to extend them through at least 2025. Josh Boak, chicagotribune.com, 15 July 2021

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.

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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

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Learn More About lapse

Dictionary Entries Near lapse

Lapsang souchong

lapse

lap seam

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for lapse

Last Updated

1 Aug 2021

Cite this Entry

“Lapse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lapse. Accessed 3 Aug. 2021.

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More Definitions for lapse

lapse

noun

English Language Learners Definition of lapse

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

lapse

verb

English Language Learners Definition of lapse (Entry 2 of 2)

: to stop for usually a brief time
: to become no longer effective or valid

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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