lapse rate


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

Examples of lapse rate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Insurers counted on policy lapse rates — people giving up their policies or defaulting on payments — of about 4 percent annually. Jonel Aleccia, New York Times, 22 Nov. 2023 This is called the lapse rate. Los Angeles Times, 23 July 2022 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 examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'lapse rate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 15 Jun. 2024.

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