relapse

noun
re·​lapse | \ ri-ˈlaps How to pronounce relapse (audio) , ˈrē-ˌlaps How to pronounce relapse (audio) \

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 How to pronounce relapse (audio) \
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

For many people, the road back from addiction is a yearslong journey, and relapse is common. Carla K. Johnson, The Seattle Times, "Q&A: Feds tackle opioid epidemic, but is it helping?," 28 Jan. 2019 Have a small relapse into sadness and scream into the rain. Monica Heisey, Glamour, "My Number One Skin-Care Tip? Get Divorced," 27 Nov. 2018 His addiction expert, Dr. Gregory Skipper, said continuing those relationships could trigger a relapse. Adam Elmahrek, latimes.com, "Amid new questions, former USC medical school dean fights to keep his license," 9 June 2018 She's had a long, difficult history with addiction but had been sober for six years until this latest relapse. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Demi Lovato Shows Fans How She's Fighting for Recovery With a Jiu-Jistsu Selfie," 5 Dec. 2018 Different ways to downsize a genome B. recurrentis causes relapses because its genetic code enables the bacteria to run through a random sequence of different variants of two proteins, called antigens, on its surface. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Ancient DNA reveals the secrets of a devastating European disease," 26 Sep. 2018 Experiencing a small slip or a full-on relapse or simply feeling like sobriety is more challenging than usual doesn't mean that treatment has failed. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "Ahead of the ‘RHONY’ Reunion, Luann de Lesseps Checks Back Into Rehab," 18 July 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

And the constant anxiety and constant worry that his sons might relapse have finally ebbed. Alexandra Rockey Fleming, chicagotribune.com, "Opioid addiction and overdoses in children devastate their parents," 3 July 2018 Luka recently completed a 40-day stay in a house with five other teen boys, meeting regularly with therapists, engaging in group sessions about mindfulness, relapse prevention and other topics. Betsy Mckay, WSJ, "Teen Vaping Has Created Addicts With Few Treatment Options," 18 Dec. 2018 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

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

2 Mar 2019

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 How to pronounce relapse (audio) , 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 How to pronounce relapse (audio) \
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 How to pronounce relapse (audio) , ˈrē-ˌ How to pronounce relapse (audio) \

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 How to pronounce relapse (audio) \
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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