I. noun Etymology: Latin lapsus, from labi to slip — more at sleep Date: 1526 1. a. a slight error typically due to forgetfulness or inattention <
a lapse in table manners
b. a temporary deviation or fall especially from a higher to a lower state <
a lapse from grace
2. a becoming less ; decline 3. a. (1) the termination of a right or privilege through neglect to exercise it within some limit of time (2) termination of coverage for nonpayment of premiums b. interruption, discontinuance <
returned to college after a lapse of several years
4. an abandonment of religious faith ; apostasy 5. a passage of time; also interval Synonyms: see error II. verb (lapsed; lapsing) Date: 1611 intransitive verb 1. a. to fall from an attained and usually high level (as of morals or manners) to one much lower; also to depart from an accepted pattern or standard b. sink, slip <
lapsed into unconsciousness
2. to go out of existence ; cease <
after a few polite exchanges, the conversation lapsed
3. to pass from one proprietor to another or from an original owner by omission or negligence <
allowed the insurance policy to lapse
4. to glide along ; pass <
time lapses
transitive verb to let slip ; forfeit <
all of those who have lapsed their membership — AAUP Bulletin
lapser noun

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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 — 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 — (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 — ► 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

  • lapse — relapse …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • lapse — ▪ I. lapse lapse 1 [læps] verb [intransitive] 1. COMMERCE if a contract, agreement, or offer lapses, it ends because an agreed time limit has passed: • The customer has the right to exercise the option or allow the option to lapse. • There are… …   Financial and business terms

  • lapse — lapse1 [læps] n [Date: 1300 1400; : Latin; Origin: lapsus, from labi to slip ] 1.) a short period of time during which you fail to do something well or properly, often caused by not being careful momentary/temporary/occasional etc lapse ▪ Despite …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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