- The definition of a lapse is a temporary failure in judgment or behavior or something that has declined in quality.
- An example of lapse is when a person has a loss of memory.
- An example of lapse is when a person temporarily stops paying attention or shows bad judgment.
- An example of lapse is when a neighborhood that was once nice becomes full of crime.
- To lapse is defined as to become inactive, invalid, to end, or to stop doing something.
- An example of lapse is to slip into unconsciousness.
- An example of lapse is when your driver's license has expired.
- An example of lapse is to stop going to church as required by your religion.
- An example of lapse is when your homeowner's insurance becomes inactive because you failed to pay the bill.
- a slip of the tongue, pen, or memory; small error or failing
- a falling away from a moral standard; moral slip
- a falling or slipping into a lower or worse condition, esp. for a short time
- a falling away from one's belief or faith
- a gliding or passing away, as of time or of anything continuously flowing
- the termination or forfeiture of a right or privilege through disuse, through failure of some contingency, or through failure to meet stated obligations within a stated time
- the failure of a bequest or devise to take effect because of the death of the person who was to receive it
Origin of lapseClassical Latin lapsus, a fall: see lap
- to slip or fall; esp., to slip into a specified state: to lapse into a coma
- to slip or deviate from a higher standard or fall into (former) erroneous ways; backslide
- to stop practicing one's religion; lose or abandon one's faith: often in the pp.: a lapsed Catholic
- to pass away; elapse: said of time
- to come to an end; stop or expire: my subscription lapsed
- to become forfeit or void because of failure to pay the premium at the stipulated time: said of an insurance policy
- Law to pass to another proprietor by reason of negligence or death
Origin of lapseL lapsare < labi: see lap
to make forfeit or void by not meeting standards
verblapsed lapsed, laps·ing, laps·es
- a. To fall from a previous level or standard, as of accomplishment, quality, or conduct: lapse into bad habits; a team that lapsed into mediocrity halfway through the season.b. To deviate from a prescribed or accepted way: lapse into heresy.c. To pass gradually or smoothly; slip: lapse into reverie.
- a. To come to an end, especially gradually or temporarily: He realized that his attention had lapsed and he hadn't heard the assignment.b. To be no longer valid or active; expire: She allowed her membership to lapse after the first year.
- Law To cease to be available as a result of expiration, disuse, or impossibility. Used of a right or privilege.
- To go by; elapse: Years had lapsed since we last met.
To allow to lapse.
- The act or an instance of lapsing, as:a. A usually minor or temporary failure; a slip: a lapse of memory; a lapse in judgment.b. A deterioration or decline: a lapse into barbarism.c. A moral fall: a lapse from grace.
- A break in continuity; a pause: a lapse in the conversation.
- A period of time; an interval: a lapse of several years between the two revolutions.
- Law The termination of a right or privilege as a result of expiration, disuse, or impossibility.
Origin of lapseMiddle English lapsen, to deviate from the normal, from laps, lapse of time, sin (from Old French, lapse of time, from Latin lāpsus, from past participle of lābī, to lapse) and from Latin lāpsāre, frequentative of lābī.
- 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.
- (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.
- (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.
(third-person singular simple present lapses, present participle lapsing, simple past and past participle lapsed)
- (intransitive) To fall away gradually; to subside.
- (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.
lapse - Legal Definition
The termination or expiration of a right because it has not been exercised or because of the occurrence or nonoccurrence of some contingency.