lapse rate


: the adiabatic rate of decrease of atmospheric temperature with increasing altitude

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Rather than endure the metropolis’s dog-day heat, the smart money—like Beijing’s Quing emperors or Fifth Avenue railroad tycoons—ascended to the nearest mountain top to take full advantage of the lapse rate. Andrew Nelson, WSJ, 10 Aug. 2022 That created a very intense lapse rate in the atmosphere, where air temperature decreased very rapidly with altitude. Robin George Andrews, National Geographic, 13 Aug. 2019 At Genworth, McInerney says, the lapse rate is only 0.7%, which seems to be close to the industry average. Los Angeles Times, 25 July 2019 Insurers didn’t wake up to the triple whammy of low investment returns, underestimated lapse rates and unexpectedly long-lived claims for decades, when customers reached their 70s and 80s and began filing claims. Los Angeles Times, 25 July 2019

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

Word History

First Known Use

1918, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of lapse rate was in 1918

Dictionary Entries Near lapse rate

Cite this Entry

“Lapse rate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Nov. 2022.

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