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

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 And each relapse is much more risky than in years past. Beth Warren, The Courier-Journal, "Tired of going to funerals, this doctor treats addiction with drugs," 21 June 2018 Buy Photo As bad as getting off opioids the first time was, nothing prepared Briana Kline for trying to come back from relapse. Rita Giordano, Philly.com, "Could marijuana help treat opioid addiction? Pennsylvania may soon find out," 6 July 2018 As part of approval, the company will create a registry to follow patients for 15 years to monitor for relapse and possible side effects. Marie Mccullough, Philly.com, "FDA expands approval for world's first T-cell therapy," 1 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 That isn’t necessarily surprising: Treating addiction takes time, and even people who take the right treatment steps can relapse. Naomi Schaefer Riley, WSJ, "Judicial Tough Love Helps Addicted Mothers Stay Clean," 25 May 2018 Just six months later, six months into her pregnancy, Josh relapsed. Sarah Schreiber, Good Housekeeping, "Heartbreaking Photo Documentary Captures True Love in the Face of Cancer," 22 Dec. 2016 Sheldon’s camera is ever present, hovering, never intruding, but capturing the misery of detox, the fleeting joy of a birthday and the tears in a mother’s eyes as a son relapses. Jeffrey Fleishman, latimes.com, "Documentary films explore the despair of America's heroin and opioid epidemic," 6 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

9 Nov 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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