Definitions for: Relapse

[n] a failure to maintain a higher state
[v] go back to bad behavior; "Those who recidivate are often minor criminals"
[v] deteriorate in health; "he relapsed"

Webster (1913) Definition: Re*lapse" (r?-l?ps"), v. i. [imp. & p. p. Relapsed
(-l?pst"); p. pr. & vb. n. Relapsing.] [L. relapsus, p. p.
of relabi to slip back, to relapse; pref. re- re- + labi to
fall, slip, slide. See Lapse.]
1. To slip or slide back, in a literal sense; to turn back.
[Obs.] --Dryden.

2. To slide or turn back into a former state or practice; to
fall back from some condition attained; -- generally in a
bad sense, as from a state of convalescence or amended
condition; as, to relapse into a stupor, into vice, or
into barbarism; -- sometimes in a good sense; as, to
relapse into slumber after being disturbed.

That task performed, [preachers] relapse into
themselves. --Cowper.

3. (Theol.) To fall from Christian faith into paganism,
heresy, or unbelief; to backslide.

They enter into the justified state, and so continue
all along, unless they relapse. --Waterland.

Re*lapse", n. [For sense 2 cf. F. relaps. See
Relapse, v.]
1. A sliding or falling back, especially into a former bad
state, either of body or morals; backsliding; the state of
having fallen back.

Alas! from what high hope to what relapse Unlooked
for are we fallen! --Milton.

2. One who has relapsed, or fallen back, into error; a
backslider; specifically, one who, after recanting error,
returns to it again. [Obs.]

Synonyms: backsliding, fall back, get worse, lapse, lapse, lapsing, recidivate, regress, relapsing, retrogress, reversion, reverting

Antonyms: bounce back, get over, get well

See Also: change state, failure, recidivism, turn

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