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  1. simple past tense and past participle of lapse


lapsed (not generally comparable, comparative more lapsed, superlative most lapsed)

  1. Discontinued; having ceased or gone out of use.
    • 1895, William Andrews, Curious Church Customs and Cognate Subjects, Hull: Hull Press, OCLC 940424525, page 30:
      The royal charities on Maunday Thursday, are really a portion of an otherwise lapsed custom, which recalled the action of our Lord on the day before His Crucifixion.
  2. (of a person) Changed to a less valued condition or state; especially having lost one's religious faith.
    • 1726, John Ayliffe, Parergon Juris Canonici Anglicani, London: Printed for the Author by D. Leach, OCLC 6977383, page 465:
      ...satisfy the Doubtful, confirm the Wavering, recover the Lapsed, and be useful to all according to their several Circumstances and Conditions.
    • 1821, Annual Report of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, Boston, OCLC 883777547, page 14:
      One of them is a lapsed Catholic; the other is in no doubt of what to do, as he has suffered much on account of his adherence to Christianity.
  3. (humorous) By extension, having changed a (secular) belief or adherence.
    • 1981, Jessamyn West, Double Discovery: A Journey, G.K. Hall, →ISBN:
      My mother knew that I was a lapsed Republican, but did not dream of the depth to which I had fallen.
  4. (archaic, of a legacy) Having passed from the original holder or authority; no longer claimed.
    • 1789, Jean-Charles Laveaux, The Life of Frederick the Second, King of Prussia, London: J. Derbett, OCLC 13599937, page 143:
      The only legitimate claimants must be, Albert of Austria, son of the sister of the last duke John; and the emperor Sigsmund, who might consider this part of Bavaria as a lapsed fief: that in this quality he had given the investiture of it to his son-in-law





  1. nominative plural of laps