What does lapse mean?

Here's a list of possible definitions for the term lapse:

Princeton's WordNet

  1. oversight, lapse(noun)

    a mistake resulting from inattention

  2. lapse(noun)

    a break or intermission in the occurrence of something

    "a lapse of three weeks between letters"

  3. backsliding, lapse, lapsing, relapse, relapsing, reversion, reverting(verb)

    a failure to maintain a higher state

  4. sink, pass, lapse(verb)

    pass into a specified state or condition

    "He sank into nirvana"

  5. lapse(verb)

    end, at least for a long time

    "The correspondence lapsed"

  6. lapse, backslide(verb)

    drop to a lower level, as in one's morals or standards

  7. relapse, lapse, recidivate, regress, retrogress, fall back(verb)

    go back to bad behavior

    "Those who recidivate are often minor criminals"

  8. lapse(verb)

    let slip

    "He lapsed his membership"

  9. elapse, lapse, pass, slip by, glide by, slip away, go by, slide by, go along(verb)

    pass by

    "three years elapsed"


  1. lapse(Noun)

    A temporary failure; a slip.

  2. lapse(Noun)

    A decline or fall in standards.

  3. lapse(Noun)

    A pause in continuity.

  4. lapse(Noun)

    An interval of time between events.

  5. lapse(Noun)

    A termination of a right etc, through disuse or neglect.

  6. lapse(Noun)

    (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.

  7. lapse(Noun)

    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.

  8. lapse(Verb)

    To fall away gradually; to subside

  9. lapse(Verb)

    To fall into error or heresy

  10. lapse(Verb)

    To slip into a bad habit that one is trying to avoid.

  11. lapse(Verb)

    To become void

  12. Origin: From laps, from lapsus, from .

Webster Dictionary

  1. Lapse(noun)

    a gliding, slipping, or gradual falling; an unobserved or imperceptible progress or passing away,; -- restricted usually to immaterial things, or to figurative uses

  2. Lapse(noun)

    a slip; an error; a fault; a failing in duty; a slight deviation from truth or rectitude

  3. Lapse(noun)

    the termination of a right or privilege through neglect to exercise it within the limited time, or through failure of some contingency; hence, the devolution of a right or privilege

  4. Lapse(noun)

    a fall or apostasy

  5. Lapse(verb)

    to pass slowly and smoothly downward, backward, or away; to slip downward, backward, or away; to glide; -- mostly restricted to figurative uses

  6. Lapse(verb)

    to slide or slip in moral conduct; to fail in duty; to fall from virtue; to deviate from rectitude; to commit a fault by inadvertence or mistake

  7. Lapse(verb)

    to fall or pass from one proprietor to another, or from the original destination, by the omission, negligence, or failure of some one, as a patron, a legatee, etc

  8. Lapse(verb)

    to become ineffectual or void; to fall

  9. Lapse(verb)

    to let slip; to permit to devolve on another; to allow to pass

  10. Lapse(verb)

    to surprise in a fault or error; hence, to surprise or catch, as an offender

  11. Origin: [L. lapsus, fr. labi, p. p. lapsus, to slide, to fall: cf. F. laps. See Sleep.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Lapse

    laps, v.i. to slip or glide: to pass by degrees: to fall from the faith or from virtue: to fail in duty: to pass to another proprietor, &c., by the negligence of a patron, to become void: to lose certain privileges by neglect of the necessary conditions.—n. a slipping or falling: a failing in duty: a fault.—adj. Lap′sable.—The lapsed, the name applied in the early Christian Church to those who, overcome by heathen persecution, fell away from the faith. [L. labi, lapsus, to slip or fall, lapsus, a fall, akin to lap.]

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. lapse

    To fall in, or belong to. This expression was formerly used in the British army to signify the reversion of any military property. Thus, upon the sale or purchase of one commission at the regulated difference, another (where there are two) is said to lapse to government. Commissions lapse, or fall into the patronage of government, when vacancies happen by death, by officers being superseded, or where officers apply to sell who have only purchased a part of their commissions, and have not served long enough to be entitled to sell the whole; in which case they are only permitted to sell what they actually purchased, and the remainder is in the gift of the government.

Anagrams for lapse »

  1. leaps, pales, peals, pleas, salep, sepal, spale


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of lapse in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of lapse in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

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