Synonyms & Antonyms of lapse

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 a change in status for the worse usually temporarily
  • the scandal caused the president to suffer a dramatic lapse in popularity

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2 an unintentional departure from truth or accuracy
  • his slip of the tongue about the mayor's name was an unfortunate lapse

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3 the stopping of a process or activity
  • wasn't bothered by the lapse of her membership at the health club

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Antonyms for lapse



Synonyms & Antonyms of lapse (Entry 2 of 2)

to come to an end
  • the contract will lapse at the end of the year unless we renew

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See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About lapse

How does the noun lapse differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of lapse are blunder, error, mistake, and slip. While all these words mean "a departure from what is true, right, or proper," lapse stresses forgetfulness, weakness, or inattention as a cause.

a lapse in judgment

When might blunder be a better fit than lapse?

While in some cases nearly identical to lapse, blunder regularly imputes stupidity or ignorance as a cause and connotes some degree of blame.

diplomatic blunders

Where would error be a reasonable alternative to lapse?

Although the words error and lapse have much in common, error suggests the existence of a standard or guide and a straying from the right course through failure to make effective use of this.

procedural errors

In what contexts can mistake take the place of lapse?

In some situations, the words mistake and lapse are roughly equivalent. However, mistake implies misconception or inadvertence and usually expresses less criticism than error.

dialed the wrong number by mistake

When can slip be used instead of lapse?

The words slip and lapse can be used in similar contexts, but slip stresses inadvertence or accident and applies especially to trivial but embarrassing mistakes.

a slip of the tongue

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Time Traveler for lapse

Time Traveler

The first known use of lapse was in 1526

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Cite this Entry

“Lapse.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Sep. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on lapse

Nglish: Translation of lapse for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lapse for Arabic Speakers


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