1731, from infra- + L. lapsus "a fall." In ref. to the Calvinist doctrine that god's election of some to everlasting life was consequent to his decree to allow the Fall of man, and was thus a remedial measure. Contrasted to supralapsarian, in ref. to the belief that He always meant to consign most of mankind to eternal fire and that the decision to create some men to be damned was his first decree. There's also a moderate sublapsarian view. Here the decree to elect those who would believe and leave those who do not believe to damnation also comes after the decree to allow the fall, but the decree to provide salvation for man comes immediately after the decree to elect.