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

And a former student of mine, Robert Heiserman, another Rotarian, fell victim to polio as a child and died from a relapse in 2018. Ved Nanda, The Denver Post, "Nanda: WHO, Rotary Clubs have made the world a healthier place," 27 June 2019 Doctors, judges, lawyers, pilots, nurses and numerous other professionals all have access to resources that allow for treatment plus continuing follow-up care to prevent relapse. Andrew Burki, sun-sentinel.com, "Warm handoff or cold bodies? | Opinion," 20 June 2019 There's a big chance of relapse after release, and some who do will die. Terry Demio, Cincinnati.com, "'I will die' without it: Hamilton County Jail offers addicted inmates meds behind bars," 19 June 2019 Eldred’s lawyer had argued her client’s substance use disorder made her powerless to control her desire to use drugs, and that jailing her effectively criminalized relapse — which often happens in the recovery process. Alanna Durkin Richer, The Seattle Times, "Court: Drug users can be jailed for relapsing on probation," 16 July 2018 Jamison joins Alcoholics Anonymous and, after a relapse, gets sober. Dwight Garner, New York Times, "Leslie Jamison’s Memoir Finds Its Footing in Sobriety," 2 Apr. 2018 Studies involving the use of buprenorphine/naloxone and methadone in correctional facilities have yielded up to 75-percent reductions in post-release overdoses, along with sharp reductions in relapse and recidivism. Sarah Gad, Marie Claire, "My Drug Overdose Saved My Life. Now I'm Saving Others.," 15 Mar. 2019 However, about one-third of these patients experience a relapse after the transplant. Cindy Goodman, miamiherald, "Immunotherapy is giving some cancer patients a new life when they had all but given up," 25 May 2018 That may have meant that the medieval European version of LBRF brought fewer relapses, on average, than the modern African versions. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Ancient DNA reveals the secrets of a devastating European disease," 26 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Kevin relapsed and just had an interesting encounter with his engaged ex-girlfriend, Sophie. Glamour, "The This Is Us Cast Says the Season 3 Finale Will Have You on the Edge of Your Seat," 25 Mar. 2019 Lohan's attorney, Blair Berk, said her client had relapsed and was again receiving medical care. Jennifer Earl, Fox News, "Lindsay Lohan's rise and fall: From Disney darling to tabloid sensation," 10 Aug. 2018 Now nearly four years after Mia’s initial bouts, there is improvement -- along with vulnerability to relapse. Mike Candelaria, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Chronic fatigue syndrome puts Central Florida woman on a mission to help," 11 May 2018 The second beta-thalassemia patient who relapsed was enrolled in an older and completed LentiGlobin clinical trial that Bluebird will use as the basis for a European approval application later this year. Adam Feuerstein, STAT, "New Bluebird data show promising benefits for gene therapy, if they last," 15 June 2018 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

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

6 Jul 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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