relapse

noun
re·​lapse | \ri-ˈlaps, ˈrē-ˌlaps \

Definition of relapse 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the act or an instance of backsliding, worsening, or subsiding

2 : a recurrence of symptoms of a disease after a period of improvement

relapse

verb
re·​lapse | \ri-ˈlaps \
relapsed; relapsing

Definition of relapse (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to slip or fall back into a former worse state

2 : sink, subside relapse into deep thought

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Other Words from relapse

Verb

relapser noun

Examples of relapse in a Sentence

Noun

Everyone thought she was well until a sudden relapse sent her back to the hospital. a drug addict who has had a relapse a drug addict who has a history of relapse

Verb

If you don't continue your treatment, you could relapse. Malaria can relapse years after the original infection. The country soon relapsed into chaos. She stayed out of trouble for a long time, but then she relapsed into her old ways.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

That includes seeking new ways to thwart potentially deadly relapses. Jennifer Levitz, WSJ, "Koch-Funded Gyms Help Opioid Addicts Recover," 16 Sep. 2018 One tough aspect of this experience is determining how to react if your loved one relapses. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "3 Things Not to Say When a Loved One With Addiction Relapses—and 6 to Try Instead," 20 Oct. 2018 Look at the reaction to Demi Lovato's recent relapse and hospitalization. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Lady Gaga's 2009 MTV Video Music Awards Performance Was a Warning Pop Culture Needed," 17 Aug. 2018 Cook County Jail detainees discuss their experiences with opioid relapse. John Keilman, chicagotribune.com, "Giving addicted inmates opioid meds behind bars can reduce overdose deaths. Why don't more jails use them?," 6 July 2018 Ben shared the relapse news the way Ben does these things. Gregg Doyel, Indianapolis Star, "Doyel: Ex-Avon track star Ben Harmon gives cancer a run for its money," 14 June 2018 The initial prognosis looked positive on the midfielder's front; however, a relapse identified the issue as far greater than initially feared. SI.com, "Emre Can 'Waiting' Until After Champions League Final to Secure Juventus Switch," 4 May 2018 To tell the story of real people who have been through the hellscape that can be addiction, relapse, and recovery? Morgan Baila, refinery29.com, "Brace Yourselves For Timothée Chalamet & Steve Carrell In First Beautiful Boy Trailer," 27 June 2018 If there are two distinct processes, further research could illuminate which one is active in relapse, and how to then modify treatment to address that nuance. Maya Miller, Scientific American, "Why It’s So Hard to Junk Bad Decisions—Edging Closer to Understanding “Sunk Cost”," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But one disease stands out in historical accounts because authors describe patients appearing to recover before relapsing into fever again and again. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Ancient DNA reveals the secrets of a devastating European disease," 26 Sep. 2018 Eldred, who has severe substance use disorder, spent more than a week in jail after relapsing until her lawyer could find a bed for her at a treatment facility. Alanna Durkin Richer, The Seattle Times, "Court: Drug users can be jailed for relapsing on probation," 16 July 2018 But the father of two relapsed and suffered a fatal overdose in February 2013. NBC News, "NY doctor who prescribed 'Holy Trinity' charged in patient deaths," 7 June 2018 People with an opioid use disorder will often relapse along the road to recovery. Fox News, "Should people with drug addictions be forced into rehab?," 24 June 2018 The trial, called ReBuild, involved 50 patients with relapsing MS. Mary Lou Brink, cleveland.com, "Top Workplaces 2018 nomination deadline extended," 21 Jan. 2018 Among people with opioid addictions, taking an opioid agonist reduces the odds of relapsing into drug use and dying from an overdose. Brian Barnett, STAT, "Jails and prisons: the unmanned front in the battle against the opioid epidemic," 2 July 2018 Another common withdrawal symptom is relapse itself. The Economist, "Welsh prisons are much harsher than England’s on opioid treatment," 12 July 2018 Two of the beta-thalassemia patients in Bluebird’s clinical trials who have been followed for the longest period of time have relapsed since the company’s previous update last December. Adam Feuerstein, STAT, "New Bluebird data show promising benefits for gene therapy, if they last," 15 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'relapse.' 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 relapse

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

circa 1534, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for relapse

Noun

Middle English, from Medieval Latin relapsus, from Latin relabi to slide back, from re- + labi to slide — more at sleep

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Statistics for relapse

Last Updated

7 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for relapse

The first known use of relapse was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for relapse

relapse

noun

English Language Learners Definition of relapse

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the return of an illness after a period of improvement

: a return to bad behavior that you had stopped doing

relapse

verb

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

: to become ill again after a period of improvement in health

of an illness : to return or become worse after leaving or improving for a period of time

: to return to a bad condition, form of behavior, etc.

relapse

noun
re·​lapse | \ri-ˈlaps, ˈrē-ˌlaps\

Kids Definition of relapse

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a return of illness after a period of improvement

2 : a return to a former and undesirable state or condition a relapse into bad habits

relapse

verb
re·​lapse | \ri-ˈlaps \
relapsed; relapsing

Kids Definition of relapse (Entry 2 of 2)

: to return to a former state or condition (as of illness or bad behavior) after a change for the better

relapse

noun
re·​lapse | \ri-ˈlaps, ˈrē-ˌ \

Medical Definition of relapse 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: a recurrence of illness especially : a recurrence of symptoms of a disease after a period of improvement a relapse after an 18-month remission — M. T. Fosburg et al — compare recrudescence

re·​lapse | \ri-ˈlaps \
relapsed; relapsing

Medical Definition of relapse (Entry 2 of 2)

: to slip or fall back into a former worse state (as of illness) after a change for the better the patient relapsed twice in four years

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More from Merriam-Webster on relapse

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with relapse

Spanish Central: Translation of relapse

Nglish: Translation of relapse for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of relapse for Arabic Speakers

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