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lapse

[laps] /læps/
noun
1.
an accidental or temporary decline or deviation from an expected or accepted condition or state; a temporary falling or slipping from a previous standard:
a lapse of justice.
2.
a slip or error, often of a trivial sort; failure:
a lapse of memory.
3.
an interval or passage of time; elapsed period:
a lapse of ten minutes before the program resumed.
4.
a moral fall, as from rectitude or virtue.
5.
a fall or decline to a lower grade, condition, or degree; descent; regression:
a lapse into savagery.
6.
the act of falling, slipping, sliding, etc., slowly or by degrees.
7.
a falling into disuse.
8.
Insurance. discontinuance of coverage resulting from nonpayment of a premium; termination of a policy.
9.
Law. the termination of a right or privilege through neglect to exercise it or through failure of some contingency.
10.
Meteorology, lapse rate.
11.
Archaic. a gentle, downward flow, as of water.
verb (used without object), lapsed, lapsing.
12.
to fall or deviate from a previous standard; fail to maintain a normative level:
Toward the end of the book the author lapsed into bad prose.
13.
to come to an end; stop:
We let our subscription to that magazine lapse.
14.
to fall, slip, or sink; subside:
to lapse into silence.
15.
to fall into disuse:
The custom lapsed after a period of time.
16.
to deviate or abandon principles, beliefs, etc.:
to lapse into heresy.
17.
to fall spiritually, as an apostate:
to lapse from grace.
18.
to pass away, as time; elapse.
19.
Law. to become void, as a legacy to someone who dies before the testator.
20.
to cease being in force; terminate:
Your insurance policy will lapse after 30 days.
Origin
1520-1530
1520-30; < Latin lāpsus an error, slipping, failing, equivalent to lāb(ī) to slide, slip, fall, make a mistake + -sus, for -tus suffix of v. action
Related forms
lapser, noun
unlapsing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for lapse
  • The story of the cancer patient and his lapse in belief is interesting, and may point to an ethical dilemma for researchers.
  • Ultimately, after the lapse of centuries, these sub-breeds would become converted into two well-established and distinct breeds.
  • Progress will be watched through a microscope, by time-lapse photography.
  • Once the leading global firms had moved their offices, the tax rebates were allowed to lapse.
  • Now is precisely the wrong time to let that cover lapse.
  • Lehman's story ended particularly badly, but this sort of lapse in risk governance was alarmingly common during the boom.
  • To hear mainstream commentators, the food crisis is but a temporary lapse in market equilibrium.
  • It's lamentable that our politicians won't let us lapse into profound isolationism and establish tariffs to defend our markets.
  • We must never allow ourselves to lapse into indifference toward politicians.
  • The remnants mutate, lapse into feudalism, or revert to prehistoric brutality.
British Dictionary definitions for lapse

lapse

/læps/
noun
1.
a drop in standard of an isolated or temporary nature: a lapse of justice
2.
a break in occurrence, usage, etc: a lapse of five weeks between letters
3.
a gradual decline or a drop to a lower degree, condition, or state: a lapse from high office
4.
a moral fall
5.
(law) the termination of some right, interest, or privilege, as by neglecting to exercise it or through failure of some contingency
6.
(insurance) the termination of coverage following a failure to pay the premiums
verb (intransitive)
7.
to drop in standard or fail to maintain a norm
8.
to decline gradually or fall in status, condition, etc
9.
to be discontinued, esp through negligence or other failure
10.
(usually foll by into) to drift or slide (into a condition): to lapse into sleep
11.
(often foll by from) to turn away (from beliefs or norms)
12.
(law) (of a devise or bequest) to become void, as on the beneficiary's predeceasing the testator
13.
(of time) to slip away
Derived Forms
lapsable, lapsible, adjective
lapsed, adjective
lapser, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin lāpsus error, from lābī to 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
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Word Origin and History for lapse
n.

mid-15c., "elapsing of time, expiration;" also "temporary forfeiture of a legal right," from Middle French laps "lapse," from Latin lapsus "a slipping and falling, flight (of time), falling into error," from labi "to slip, glide, fall." Meaning "moral transgression, sin" is c.1500; that of "slip of the memory" is 1520s; that of "a falling away from one's faith" is from 1650s.

v.

early 15c., said to be from lapse (n.) or from Latin lapsare "to lose one's footing." Related: Lapsed; lapses; lapsing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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lapse in Technology
language
A single assignment language for the Manchester dataflow machine.
["A Single Assignment Language for Data Flow Computing", J.R.W. Glauert, M.Sc Diss, Victoria U Manchester, 1978].
(1994-12-21)
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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