- The definition of a relapse is a backsliding or a situation where a person who was getting better returns to a worse state.
When cancer you thought was cured comes back, the return of the cancer is an example of a relapse.
- Relapse is to return to a prior condition, or to have an illness or addiction reoccur.
- When an alcoholic has been sober for two months and he slips and has a drink, this is an example of a situation where he relapses.
- When your cancer was cured but it came back a year later, this is an example of a situation where you relapse.
intransitive verbrelapsed, relapsing
- to fall back into illness
- to fall back into bad habits, wrongdoing, etc.; backslide
Origin of relapse; from Classical Latin relapsus, past participle of relabi, to slip or slide back: see re- and amp; lapse
- the act or an instance of relapsing
- the recurrence of a disease after apparent improvement
intransitive verbre·lapsed, re·laps·ing, re·laps·es
- To return to a former state.
- a. To become sicker after partial recovery from an illness.b. To recur. Used of an illness.
- To slip back into bad ways; backslide.
Origin of relapseMiddle English relapsen, to forswear, from Latin relābī, relāps-, to fall back gradually : re-, re- + lābī, to slide.
(third-person singular simple present relapses, present participle relapsing, simple past and past participle relapsed)
- (intransitive) To fall back again; to slide or turn back into a former state or practice.
- He has improved recently but keeps relapsing into states of utter confusion. to relapse into a stupor, into vice, or into barbarism; to relapse into slumber after being disturbed
- (intransitive, medicine, of a disease) To recur; to worsen, be aggravated.
- To slip or slide back physically; to turn back.
- The act or situation of relapsing.
- Alas! from what high hope to what relapse / Unlooked for are we fallen! — Milton.