re|lapse «rih LAPS; also for n. REE laps», verb, -lapsed, -laps|ing, noun.
1. to fall or slip back into a former state or way of acting: »

After one cry of surprise she relapsed into silence.

2. to fall back into wrongdoing; backslide.
3. to have a return of the symptoms of an illness following convalescence: »

The next day the doctors were back; Tom had relapsed (Mark Twain).

the state or process of falling or slipping back into a former state, or way of acting: »

He seemed to be getting over his illness but had a relapse.

[< Latin relāpsus, past participle of relābī < re- back + lābī to slip]
re|laps´er, noun.

Useful english dictionary. 2012.

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  • lapse — 1 / laps/ n: a termination or failure due to events, neglect, or time: as a: the failure of a bequest (as because the intended recipient dies before the testator) compare anti lapse statute b: the termination of an insurance policy because of… …   Law dictionary

  • Lapse and anti-lapse — are complementary concepts under the law of wills, which address the disposition of property that is willed to someone who dies before the testator (the writer of the will).LapseLapse is a common law rule that if the person to whom property is… …   Wikipedia

  • lapse — n 1 slip, *error, mistake, blunder, faux pas, bull, howler, boner Analogous words: *offense, sin, vice, crime: *fault, failing, frailty, foible: transgression, *breach, violation, trespass 2 relapse, backsliding (see under LAPSE vb) …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • lapse of time — ˌlapse of ˈtime noun [uncountable] LAW when a contract is ended because both groups involved do not finish what they stated they would do before an agreed time limit * * * lapse of time UK US noun ► [C, usually singular] (also time lapse) a… …   Financial and business terms

  • Lapse — (l[a^]ps), n. [L. lapsus, fr. labi, p. p. lapsus, to slide, to fall: cf. F. laps. See {Sleep}.] 1. A gliding, slipping, or gradual falling; an unobserved or imperceptible progress or passing away,; restricted usually to immaterial things, or to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Lapse — Lapse, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Lapsed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Lapsing}.] 1. To pass slowly and smoothly downward, backward, or away; to slip downward, backward, or away; to glide; mostly restricted to figurative uses. [1913 Webster] A tendency to lapse… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • lapse — [n1] mistake blunder, breach, bungle, crime, error, failing, failure, fault, flub, foible, frailty, gaff, goof, goof up*, indiscretion, miscue, negligence, offense, omission, oversight, screw up*, sin, slip, slip up, transgression, trespass,… …   New thesaurus

  • Lapse — Lapse, v. t. 1. To let slip; to permit to devolve on another; to allow to pass. [1913 Webster] An appeal may be deserted by the appellant s lapsing the term of law. Ayliffe. [1913 Webster] 2. To surprise in a fault or error; hence, to surprise or …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • lapse of gift — the failure of a testamentary gift as a result of the death of the beneficiary in the testator s lifetime; also, in the case of a gift to a spouse, failure of the gift as a result of the annulment or dissolution of marriage. . . . the word lapse… …   Law dictionary

  • lapse — ► NOUN 1) a brief failure of concentration, memory, or judgement. 2) a decline from previously high standards. 3) an interval of time. 4) Law the termination of a right or privilege through disuse or failure to follow appropriate procedures. ►… …   English terms dictionary

  • lapse — [laps] n. [L lapsus, a fall: see LAP1] 1. a slip of the tongue, pen, or memory; small error; fault 2. a) a falling away from a moral standard; moral slip b) a falling or slipping into a lower or worse condition, esp. for a short time 3 …   English World dictionary

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