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 These guideposts are there to inform the next stage of the documentary, which is her 2018 relapse. Zosha Millman, Vulture, "Demi Lovato’s Documentary Is Acutely Aware of Its Image," 31 Mar. 2021 But the collateral damage already done to people struggling with drugs and alcohol — through anxiety, relapse, and death — has been a heavy blow for the state and its recovery community. Joe Sullivan, BostonGlobe.com, "Undefeated Gonzaga could be the most overlooked and underrated No. 1 seed in the NCAA men’s bracket," 14 Mar. 2021 In some rare cases, survivors suffer a relapse when the virus reactivates. Helen Branswell, STAT, "Bombshell analysis traces new Ebola outbreak to survivor of West Africa crisis," 15 Mar. 2021 The actress, who recently welcomed a son with husband David Foster, appeared on Dr. Berlin's Informed Pregnancy Podcast on March 1, just days before her due date, and opened up about her relapse with food issues during pregnancy. Amy Haneline, USA TODAY, "Katharine McPhee feared an eating disorder 'relapse' in pregnancy. She's not alone.," 5 Mar. 2021 Republicans cite that as evidence the economy is pointed upward, but Democrats say a strong economic stimulus is still needed to prevent a relapse. Alan Fram, BostonGlobe.com, "Last-ditch effort to hike minimum wage to $15 an hour appears to fail in Senate," 5 Mar. 2021 Republicans cite that as evidence the economy is pointed upward, but Democrats say a strong economic stimulus is still needed to prevent a relapse. Alan Fram, chicagotribune.com, "Stimulus check updates: Senate nears relief bill votes after half-day GOP delay, with clerks forced to read entire 628-page measure outloud," 5 Mar. 2021 In addition to overwhelming fatigue and cognitive problems, a cardinal symptom of ME/CFS is a prolonged relapse after minimal physical or mental exertion, called post-exertional malaise or, in the NICE draft, post-exertional symptom exacerbation. David Tuller, STAT, "Proposed British guidelines reject useless chronic fatigue syndrome treatments," 17 Nov. 2020 Since then, through recovery and relapse, he's been in the main hospital twice, and is now finishing his second stint in the field hospital. David Goldman, Star Tribune, "AP PHOTOS: A look inside a modern COVID-19 'field hospital'," 11 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Depression and anxiety fueled by isolation may cause some to relapse and increase drug use. Kevin Bessler, Washington Examiner, "Senate Healthcare committee hears testimony after opioid deaths increase 30%," 31 Mar. 2021 But a question nags: How does making Lovato’s still-fledgling recovery the centerpiece of her new album’s marketing campaign fix the problem—scrutiny about her health—that allegedly made her relapse? Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Demi Lovato and the Dangers of Confessional Entertainment," 24 Mar. 2021 For someone with an opioid use disorder, emotional burdens can be a trigger to relapse. Dr. Nicholas Nissen, ABC News, "Dying of loneliness: What COVID-19 has taught us about the opioid epidemic," 21 Mar. 2021 Long would frequently relapse, then express guilt because of his Christian faith, Bayless said. Will Carless, USA TODAY, "Georgia spa shooting suspect attended rehab for sex addiction, felt 'merciless remorse' for engaging in sexual acts," 18 Mar. 2021 The women taught one another how to identify and avoid things that may trigger them to relapse. Hannah Phillips, orlandosentinel.com, "‘A blessing in disguise’: Seminole jail addiction treatment program made stronger by pandemic," 7 Mar. 2021 Those who temporarily lose their supply because of the pandemic, or relapse and start using again, are susceptible to overdose because their tolerance can fall sharply. Usha Lee Mcfarling, STAT, "As the pandemic ushered in isolation and financial hardship, overdose deaths reached new heights," 16 Feb. 2021 As several shots show her contemplating what could have been, the trailer shows flashbacks of the season one finale where Rue chose not to run away with Jules (Hunter Schafer), and was left feeling abandoned and driven to relapse. Marcus Jones, EW.com, "Trailer for Euphoria's first special episode teases possible answers to mysterious season 1 ending," 30 Nov. 2020 Because the disease in patients who relapse can be very aggressive, the doctors at Riley used different methods to treat Deanthony the second time around. 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

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

5 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Relapse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/relapse. Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

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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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Comments on relapse

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