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See also: läpse



From Middle French laps, from Latin lapsus, from labi(to slip).



lapse ‎(plural lapses)

  1. A temporary failure; a slip.
    • Rogers
      to guard against those lapses and failings to which our infirmities daily expose us
  2. A decline or fall in standards.
    • Rambler
      The lapse to indolence is soft and imperceptible.
  3. A pause in continuity.
  4. An interval of time between events.
    • I. Taylor
      Francis Bacon was content to wait the lapse of long centuries for his expected revenue of fame.
  5. A termination of a right etc, through disuse or neglect.
  6. (weather) A marked decrease in air temperature with increasing altitude because the ground is warmer than the surrounding air. This condition usually occurs when skies are clear and between 1100 and 1600 hours, local time. Strong convection currents exist during lapse conditions. For chemical operations, the state is defined as unstable. This condition is normally considered the most unfavorable for the release of chemical agents. See lapse rate.
  7. (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.
  8. (theology) A fall or apostasy.


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lapse ‎(third-person singular simple present lapses, present participle lapsing, simple past and past participle lapsed)

  1. (intransitive) To fall away gradually; to subside.
    • Jonathan Swift
      a tendency to lapse into the barbarity of those northern nations from whom we are descended
    • Addison
      Homer, in his characters of Vulcan and Thersites, has lapsed into the burlesque character.
  2. (intransitive) To fall into error or heresy.
    • Shakespeare
      To lapse in fullness / Is sorer than to lie for need.
  3. To slip into a bad habit that one is trying to avoid.
  4. (intransitive) To become void.
  5. 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.
    • Ayliffe
      If the archbishop shall not fill it up within six months ensuing, it lapses to the king.




lapse c

  1. plural indefinite of laps




  1. Genitive singular form of laps.




  1. vocative masculine singular of lāpsus