Try Our Apps


What is the origin of "December"?


[ih-laps] /ɪˈlæps/
verb (used without object), elapsed, elapsing.
(of time) to slip or pass by:
Thirty minutes elapsed before the performance began.
the passage or termination of a period of time; lapse.
Origin of elapse
1635-45; < Latin ēlapsus (past participle of ēlābī to slip away), equivalent to e- e-1 + lab- slip + -sus for -tus past participle suffix
Related forms
unelapsed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for elapse
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • “No, senhor; some months must yet elapse before she takes the final vows,” said the father.

    The Prime Minister W.H.G. Kingston
  • The length of time which must elapse before the trial could come on was dreadful.

  • A full twenty seconds must elapse from the moment I press the ball till the explosion takes place.

    The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad
  • Weeks might elapse, or months even, when no soul passed that way.

    The Trail of a Sourdough May Kellogg Sullivan
  • Yet another month must elapse before the vessel would be ready for sea.

    The Secret of the Island W.H.G. Kingston (translation from Jules Verne)
  • It will make a far greater difference if twenty years elapse.

    Checking the Waste Mary Huston Gregory
  • There was some time yet, however, to elapse before the tussle commenced; and many a snow-storm had time meanwhile to rage.

  • Do you always allow three months to elapse between your visits?

    The Hand in the Dark Arthur J. Rees
  • How dreadfully this permission was used, we shall see ere many years elapse.

British Dictionary definitions for elapse


(intransitive) (of time) to pass by
Word Origin
C17: from Latin ēlābī to slip away, from lābī to slip, glide
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for elapse

1640s, from Middle French elapser, from Latin elapsus, past participle of elabi "slip or glide away, escape," from ex- "out, away" (see ex-) + labi "to slip, glide" (see lapse (n.)). The noun now corresponding to elapse is lapse. Related: Elapsed; elapsing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Word Value for elapse

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for elapse