1

relapse

play
noun re·lapse \ri-ˈlaps, ˈrē-ˌ\

Definition of relapse

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

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

Examples of relapse in a sentence

  1. Everyone thought she was well until a sudden relapse sent her back to the hospital.

  2. a drug addict who has had a relapse

  3. a drug addict who has a history of relapse

Origin and Etymology of relapse

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


First Known Use: 15th century


2

relapse

play
verb re·lapse \ri-ˈlaps\

Definition of relapse

relapsed

relapsing

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to slip or fall back into a former worse state

  3. 2 :  sink, subside <relapse into deep thought>

relapser

noun

Examples of relapse in a sentence

  1. If you don't continue your treatment, you could relapse.

  2. Malaria can relapse years after the original infection.

  3. The country soon relapsed into chaos.

  4. She stayed out of trouble for a long time, but then she relapsed into her old ways.

Circa 1534

First Known Use of relapse

circa 1534


RELAPSE Defined for English Language Learners

1

relapse

play
noun re·lapse \ri-ˈlaps, ˈrē-ˌ\

Definition of relapse for English Language Learners

  • : the return of an illness after a period of improvement

  • : a return to bad behavior that you had stopped doing


2

relapse

play
verb re·lapse \ri-ˈlaps\

Definition of relapse for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

1

relapse

play
noun re·lapse \ri-ˈlaps, ˈrē-ˌlaps\

Definition of relapse for Students

  1. 1 :  a return of illness after a period of improvement

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


2

relapse

play
verb re·lapse \ri-ˈlaps\

Definition of relapse for Students

relapsed

relapsing

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


Medical Dictionary

1

relapse

play play
noun re·lapse \ri-ˈlaps, ˈrē-ˌ\

Medical Definition of relapse

  1. :  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


2

relapse

play
intransitive verb re·lapse \ri-ˈlaps\

Medical Definition of relapse

relapsed

;

relapsing

  1. :  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>


Learn More about relapse


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up relapse? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

skillful, artistic, or intricate

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • hot-dog--hot-dog--hot-dog--hot-dog-cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ