Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
See also: läpse
lapse (plural lapses)
- A temporary failure; a slip.
- A decline or fall in standards.
- A pause in continuity.
- An interval of time between events.
- A termination of a right etc, through disuse or neglect.
- (meteorology) A marked decrease in air temperature with increasing altitude because the ground is warmer than the surrounding air.
- (law) A common-law rule that if the person to whom property is willed were to die before the testator, then the gift would be ineffective.
- (theology) A fall or apostasy.
- (a temporary failure, slip): blooper, blunder, boo-boo, defect, error, fault, faux pas, fluff, gaffe, mistake, slip, stumble, thinko
a temporary failure; a slip
a termination of a right, etc, through disuse or neglect.
- (intransitive) To fall away gradually; to subside.
1841, Jonathan Swift, “A letter to the Lord High Treasurer”, in The Works of Jonathan Swift, London: Henry Washbourne, OCLC 10447395, page 288:
- This perpetual disposition to shorten our words by retrenching the vowels, is nothing else but 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.
- (intransitive) To fall into error or heresy.
- To lapse in fullness / Is sorer than to lie for need.
- To slip into a bad habit that one is trying to avoid.
- (intransitive) To become void.
- To fall or pass from one proprietor to another, or from the original destination, by the omission, negligence, or failure of somebody, such as a patron or legatee.
- If the archbishop shall not fill it up within six months ensuing, it lapses to the king.
- Genitive singular form of laps.