What does relapse mean?

Definitions for relapse
rɪˈlæps; ˈri læpsre·lapse

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word relapse.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. backsliding, lapse, lapsing, relapse, relapsing, reversion, revertingverb

    a failure to maintain a higher state

  2. get worse, relapseverb

    deteriorate in health

    "he relapsed"

  3. relapse, lapse, recidivate, regress, retrogress, fall backverb

    go back to bad behavior

    "Those who recidivate are often minor criminals"


  1. relapsenoun

    The act or situation of relapsing.

    Alas! from what high hope to what relapse / Unlooked for are we fallen! uE000152061uE001 Milton.

  2. relapsenoun

    One who has relapsed, or fallen back into error; a backslider.

  3. relapseverb

    To fall back again.

    He has improved recently but keeps relapsing into states of utter confusion.

  4. relapseverb

    To recur; to worsen, be aggravated.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Relapsenoun

    Etymology: from the verb.

    This would but lead me to a worse relapse
    And heavier fall. John Milton.

    We see in too frequent instances the relapses of those, who, under the present smart, or the near apprehension of the divine pleasure, have resolved on a religious reformation. John Rogers.

    It was even as two physicians should take one sick body in hand; of which, the former would purge and keep under the body, the other pamper and strengthen it suddenly; whereof what is to be looked for, but a most dangerous relapse. Edmund Spenser.

    Mark a bounding valour in our English;
    That being dead like to the bullet’s grazing,
    Breaks out into a second course of mischief,
    Killing in relapse of mortality. William Shakespeare, Henry V.

  2. To Relapseverb

    Etymology: relapsus, Lat.

    The oftner he hath relapsed, the more significations he ought to give of the truth of his repentance. Taylor.

    He was not well cured, and would have relapsed. Richard Wiseman.


  1. Relapse

    In internal medicine, relapse or recidivism is a recurrence of a past (typically medical) condition. For example, multiple sclerosis and malaria often exhibit peaks of activity and sometimes very long periods of dormancy, followed by relapse or recrudescence. In psychiatry, relapse or reinstatement of drug-seeking behavior, is a form of spontaneous recovery that involves the recurrence of pathological drug use or self harm after a period of recovery. Relapse is often observed in individuals who have developed a drug addiction or either form of drug dependence, as well as those who have a mental disorder.


  1. relapse

    Relapse refers to the return or recurrence of symptoms, disease, or a negative behavior pattern after a period of improvement or recovery. This term is commonly used in the context of substance abuse, mental health, and chronic illnesses.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Relapseverb

    to slip or slide back, in a literal sense; to turn back

  2. Relapseverb

    to slide or turn back into a former state or practice; to fall back from some condition attained; -- generally in a bad sense, as from a state of convalescence or amended condition; as, to relapse into a stupor, into vice, or into barbarism; -- sometimes in a good sense; as, to relapse into slumber after being disturbed

  3. Relapseverb

    to fall from Christian faith into paganism, heresy, or unbelief; to backslide

  4. Relapse

    a sliding or falling back, especially into a former bad state, either of body or morals; backsliding; the state of having fallen back

  5. Relapse

    one who has relapsed, or fallen back, into error; a backslider; specifically, one who, after recanting error, returns to it again

  6. Etymology: [L. relapsus, p. p. of relabi to slip back, to relapse; pref. re- re- + labi to fall, slip, slide. See Lapse.]


  1. Relapse

    A relapse or recidivism is a recurrence of a past condition. For example, MS or malaria often exhibit peaks of activity and sometimes long periods of dormancy. Relapse, in relation to drug misuse, is resuming the use of a drug or a chemical substance after one or more periods of abstinence. The term is a landmark feature of both substance dependence and substance abuse, which are learned behaviors, and is maintained by neuronal adaptations that mediate learning and processing of various motivational stimuli. An important aspect of drug use is the propensity for repeated use and dependence, tendencies that are influenced by the nature of the drug itself and thus vary from substance to substance. Those substances that are cleared from the body most quickly, those with the highest pharmacological efficacy, and those that induce the highest tolerance elicit the most severe tendencies in users. Drug dependence can lead to increased tolerance to the substance in question, cravings, and withdrawal if the drug use ceases.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Relapse

    rē-laps′, v.i. to slide, sink, or fall back: to return to a former state of practice: to backslide.—n. a falling back into a former bad state: (med.) the return of a disease after convalescence.—n. Relap′ser.—adj. Relap′sing. [L. relabi, relapsusre-, back, labi, to slide.]

Matched Categories

Anagrams for relapse »

  1. pleaser

  2. presale

  3. repeals

  4. leapers

  5. preseal

How to pronounce relapse?

How to say relapse in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of relapse in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of relapse in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of relapse in a Sentence

  1. Pat Sajak:

    It's not that I've had a relapse. It's just because of the technicalities of the taping order and all of that. So, you're gon na see Vanna( White) doing her Pat impression here ; she does a great job. And we have a special letter-toucher, so pay attention.

  2. John Kinsey:

    We're having a relapse. I'm hopeful this is a reaction to the good week we had last week, and we'll have a couple of soft days and then it will get better.

  3. George Greer:

    Additionally, a small portion of people have histories of psychotic or manic episodes, and psilocybin could worsen those conditions or trigger a relapse.

  4. Richard Davidson:

    Depression is a recurrent illness, relapse is a very significant problem with depression, and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy may be particularly valuable in reducing the risk of relapse.

  5. Jack Osbourne:

    I told him everything [about my relapse] and him and I put together a plan.

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Translations for relapse

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"relapse." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 30 May 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/relapse>.

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    call in an official matter, such as to attend court
    A transpire
    B denudate
    C summon
    D cleave

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