Definitions for: Lapse

[n] a failure to maintain a higher state
[n] a mistake resulting from inattention
[n] a break or intermission in the occurrence of something; "a lapse of three weeks between letters"
[v] go back to bad behavior; "Those who recidivate are often minor criminals"
[v] drop to a lower level; as in one's morals or standards
[v] end, at least for a long time; "The correspondence lapsed"
[v] pass into a specified state or condition; "He sank into Nirvana"
[v] pass by, as of time
[v] let slip; "He lapsed his membership"

Webster (1913) Definition: Lapse, 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 figurative uses.

The lapse to indolence is soft and imperceptible.

Bacon was content to wait the lapse of long
centuries for his expected revenue of fame. --I.

2. A slip; an error; a fault; a failing in duty; a slight
deviation from truth or rectitude.

To guard against those lapses and failings to which
our infirmities daily expose us. --Rogers.

3. (Law) The termination of a right or privilege through
neglect to exercise it within the limited time, or through
failure of some contingency; hence, the devolution of a
right or privilege.

4. (Theol.) A fall or apostasy.

Lapse, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Lapsed; p. pr. & vb. n.
1. To pass slowly and smoothly downward, backward, or away;
to slip downward, backward, or away; to glide; -- mostly
restricted to figurative uses.

A tendency to lapse into the barbarity of those
northern nations from whom we are descended.

Homer, in his characters of Vulcan and Thersites,
has lapsed into the burlesque character. --Addison.

2. To slide or slip in moral conduct; to fail in duty; to
fall from virtue; to deviate from rectitude; to commit a
fault by inadvertence or mistake.

To lapse in fullness Is sorer than to lie for need.

3. (Law)
(a) To fall or pass from one proprietor to another, or
from the original destination, by the omission,
negligence, or failure of some one, as a patron, a
legatee, etc.
(b) To become ineffectual or void; to fall.

If the archbishop shall not fill it up within
six months ensuing, it lapses to the king.

Lapse, v. t.
1. To let slip; to permit to devolve on another; to allow to

An appeal may be deserted by the appellant's lapsing
the term of law. --Ayliffe.

2. To surprise in a fault or error; hence, to surprise or
catch, as an offender. [Obs.]

For which, if be lapsed in this place, I shall pay
dear. --Shak.

Synonyms: backslide, backsliding, elapse, fall back, glide by, go along, go by, lapsing, oversight, pass, recidivate, regress, relapse, relapse, relapsing, retrogress, reversion, reverting, sink, slide by, slip away, slip by

See Also: advance, break, cease, drop away, drop off, end, error, failure, fall away, fault, fell, finish, fly, forfeit, forgo, give up, go on, intermission, interruption, march on, mistake, move, move on, pass on, pause, progress, recidivism, slip, stop, suspension, terminate, throw overboard, vanish, waive

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