: a slight error typically due to forgetfulness or inattention
a lapse in table manners
a lapse in security
: a temporary deviation or fall especially from a higher to a lower state
a lapse from grace
: the termination of a right or privilege through neglect to exercise it within some limit of time
: termination of coverage for nonpayment of premiums
the lapse of an insurance policy
: interruption, discontinuance
returned to college after a lapse of several years
: an abandonment of religious faith
: a passage of time
also : interval
the roots of trees … have been preserved after a lapse of five thousand years —Niger Calder
: to pass from one proprietor to another or from an original owner by omission or negligence
allowed the insurance policy to lapse
Noun He blamed the error on a minor mental lapse. a lapse into bad habits Verb After a few polite words the conversation lapsed. Her interest in politics lapsed while she was in medical school. She didn't pay the premium and her life insurance policy lapsed. He forgot to renew his driver's license, so it lapsed. She allowed the magazine subscription to lapse. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
NounThe Archives, normally a noncontroversial institution, was caught in a serious lapse in 2020 when a photograph in one of its exhibits was altered, apparently to avoid political offense. —Michael E. Ruane, Washington Post, 11 May 2023 Title 42 is set to end on May 11, when the national public health emergency over COVID-19 lapses. —Camilo Montoya-galvez, CBS News, 4 May 2023 The spokesperson would not say whether the call demonstrated that the Fed faces security lapses or what steps would be taken to try to prevent it from occurring again. —Christopher Rugaber, USA TODAY, 27 Apr. 2023 Her report highlighted lapses in the police investigation. —Srishti Jaswal, The Christian Science Monitor, 19 Apr. 2023 But a quiet night from their offense and late bullpen lapse produced a too-familiar result. —Matt Kawahara, San Francisco Chronicle, 18 Apr. 2023 Persistent medical staffing shortages in San Diego jails are causing lapses in care, driving down morale Sept. 4, 2022 Parker said the board’s current lack of oversight of medical staff has led to incomplete investigations, especially in death cases. —Kelly Davis, San Diego Union-Tribune, 30 Mar. 2023 Someone else pointed out that the theory matches up with Joe's lapses in memory throughout season 4. —Jacqueline Saguin, Good Housekeeping, 26 Feb. 2023 The game was tied at halftime at 34 largely due to defensive lapses by Texas. —Mark Rosner, ajc, 18 Feb. 2023
VerbWall Street Journal - Railroad workers lost their unemployment benefits and saw their sick leave cut after pandemic-era policies lapsed last week. —Amber Burton, Fortune, 15 May 2023 With the policy lapsing alongside the country’s public health emergency, the US now is leaning instead on a decades-old protocol with new wrinkles: Title 8, which could carry heavier legal consequences for those crossing unlawfully but often takes more time than Title 42 expulsions. —Jason Hanna, CNN, 12 May 2023 This paves the way for a writers strike starting Tuesday after the previous contract effectively lapsed. —Rodney Ho, ajc, 2 May 2023 Colorful posters on the walls remind families in both English and Spanish to ensure their Medicaid insurance doesn't lapse. —Arkansas Democrat-gazette Staff And Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 29 Apr. 2023 Customers — both loyal and lapsed — received an email from the home-goods retailer around 8 a.m. telling them that the company had decided to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. —Lauren Hirsch, New York Times, 24 Apr. 2023 The woman who’d lunged for the diaper bag Monday is resisting treatment, and the man whose conservatorship lapsed is on track to soon leave Sharp Mesa Vista. —Blake Nelson, San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 Apr. 2023 Teachers have been working under the terms of their prior contract that lapsed in August, and negotiations on a new agreement began last June. —Mike Nolan, Chicago Tribune, 14 Apr. 2023 Coverage is also scheduled to lapse for tens of millions of seniors in the federal government’s Medicare program, though some members of Congress are pushing to extend the benefit. —Matthew Perrone, BostonGlobe.com, 13 Apr. 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'lapse.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
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