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
1730, Joseph Addison, The Works of the Late Right Honorable Joseph Addison, Esq., volume the third, London: Jacob Tonson, OCLC 519569671:
- Homer, however, in his characters of Vulcan and Thersites, in his story of Mars and Venus, in his behaviour of Irus and in other passages has been observed to have lapsed into the Burlesque character, and to have departed from that serious Air which seems essential to the magnificence of an Epic Poem.
- (intransitive) To fall into error or heresy.
- 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.
- Genitive singular form of laps.