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 Deanthony received six rounds of chemotherapy and radiation and was in remission for five years before suffering a relapse in September 2018. Akeem Glaspie, The Indianapolis Star, "16-year-old Deanthony Rogers beat cancer three times; now he'll have a chance to inspire Colts," 21 Nov. 2020 City officials did not honor her request, so when Limon suffered a relapse in January 2014 and took a second medical leave without city authorization. David Garrick, San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego paying out $425K to crime scene specialist for alleged harassment, retaliation," 16 Nov. 2020 And when this violence addict who swore off the sauce two decades earlier indulges in a wild relapse, Odenkirk’s Hutch reawakens a treacherous enemy (Aleksey Serebryakov) from his days in three-letter agencies doing off-books deeds. Dan Snierson, EW.com, "First look at Bob Odenkirk's action thriller Nobody: 'I get the s--- kicked out of me'," 12 Nov. 2020 Such a relapse just months into recovery is known as a double-dip recession. Jessica Menton, USA TODAY, "Where COVID-19 stimulus relief bill stands after Trump, and what it means for you: FAQs," 8 Oct. 2020 Cash has returned to practice but is being eased back into service -- as not to aggravate the injury and cause a relapse – with Miller expected to maintain the starting strong safety spot for at least one more game. Evan Dudley, al, "'Just more fun’: How Damon Miller took hold of safety role," 16 Oct. 2020 During the October 14 episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Kristen Bell shared how things have been going since her husband, Dax Shepard, publicly discussed his relapse after 16 years of sobriety from opioid use. Colleen Stinchcombe, SELF, "Kristen Bell Says Dax Shepard Is ‘Doing Really Great’ After Opioid Relapse," 15 Oct. 2020 But the risk is an economic relapse would cause large numbers of consumer and business loans to go bad, eroding industry reserves and causing banks to restrict new lending. Washington Post, "Lengthy era of rock bottom interest rates leaving its mark on U.S. economy," 3 Oct. 2020 Friends became worried — these were the conditions that would make a person vulnerable to another relapse. Washington Post, "For George Floyd and Black men in recovery, ‘everything just piles up’," 22 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb After two more rounds of chemotherapy and the use of a newer medication called Nivolumab (opdivo), a targeted immunotherapy proven to work on patients with Hodgkin's and relapse disease, Deanthony was in remission again. Akeem Glaspie, The Indianapolis Star, "16-year-old Deanthony Rogers beat cancer three times; now he'll have a chance to inspire Colts," 21 Nov. 2020 People who relapse are especially prone to overdose. Freep.com, "In darkness of pandemic, Wyandotte man's drug addiction got worse — and then deadly," 25 Oct. 2020 Combined with the interruption of outpatient services in hospitals and clinics, and socioeconomic changes that can lead to relapse, has experts worried the progress made so far on tackling the opioid crisis may be jeopardized. Annalisa Merelli, Quartz, "Covid-19 is undoing a decade of progress on the opioid epidemic," 11 Aug. 2020 There are a handful of key indicators that point toward recovery rather than relapse in the housing market. Amanda Molitor, The Denver Post, "Don’t panic, Denver is not entering a housing bubble," 27 July 2020 Overcoming the disease of addiction is never easy, and relapse is common. Sarah Matusek, The Christian Science Monitor, "Addiction, hope, and recovery in the time of COVID-19," 8 July 2020 Some are sick for two weeks straight, then have a few symptom-free days, then relapse. Jonathan Wolfe, New York Times, "Coronavirus Briefing: What Happened Today," 27 May 2020 Addiction is a chronic, often relapsing health condition that, when treated with medication, counseling and other support can be effectively managed. Terry Demio, Cincinnati.com, "What happens when an ongoing epidemic collides with a pandemic? Some who want to get well falter," 14 May 2020 Meyer began to clean up for the sake of appearances but relapsed within three months of beginning the program. Hayes Gardner, The Courier-Journal, "Reclaimed worth: A standout baseball player's journey from desperation to recovery," 22 Apr. 2020

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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Time Traveler for relapse

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for relapse

Last Updated

30 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Relapse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/relapse. Accessed 2 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for relapse

relapse

noun
How to pronounce relapse (audio) How to pronounce relapse (audio)

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
How to pronounce relapse (audio)

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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Comments on relapse

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