1

relapse

noun re·lapse \ ri-ˈlaps , ˈrē-ˌ \

Definition of relapse

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

Recent Examples of relapse from the Web

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.

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


2

relapse

verb re·lapse \ ri-ˈlaps \

Definition of relapse

relapsed; relapsing
intransitive verb
1 :to slip or fall back into a former worse state
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.

Recent Examples of relapse from the Web

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.

First Known Use of relapse

circa 1534


RELAPSE Defined for English Language Learners

relapse

noun

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


relapse

verb

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

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

Definition of relapse for Students

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

2

relapse

verb re·lapse \ ri-ˈlaps \

Definition of relapse for Students

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

Medical Dictionary

1

relapse

noun re·lapse \ ri-ˈlaps , ˈrē-ˌ \

medical Definition of relapse

: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

intransitive verb re·lapse \ ri-ˈlaps \

medical Definition of relapse

relapsed; relapsing
: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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