lapses, lapsing, lapsed
1) N-COUNT: usu adj N, N in n A lapse is a moment or instance of bad behaviour by someone who usually behaves well.

On Friday he showed neither decency nor dignity. It was an uncommon lapse.

2) N-COUNT: N of n, supp N A lapse of something such as concentration or judgement is a temporary lack of that thing, which can often cause you to make a mistake.

I had a little lapse of concentration in the middle of the race...

He was a genius and because of it you could accept lapses of taste...

The incident was being seen as a serious security lapse.

3) VERB If you lapse into a quiet or inactive state, you stop talking or being active.

[V into n] She muttered something unintelligible and lapsed into silence...

[V into n] Doris Brown closed her eyes and lapsed into sleep.

4) VERB If someone lapses into a particular way of speaking, or behaving, they start speaking or behaving in that way, usually for a short period.

[V into n] She lapsed into a little girl voice to deliver a nursery rhyme...

[V into n] Teenagers occasionally find it all too much to cope with and lapse into bad behaviour.

N-COUNT: usu N into n
Lapse is also a noun.

Her lapse into German didn't seem peculiar. After all, it was her native tongue.

5) N-SING: usu N of n, supp N A lapse of time is a period that is long enough for a situation to change or for people to have a different opinion about it.

...the restoration of diplomatic relations after a lapse of 24 years...

There is usually a time lapse between receipt of new information and its publication.

6) VERB If a period of time lapses, it passes.

New products and production processes are transferred to the developing countries only after a substantial amount of time has lapsed.

7) VERB If a situation or legal contract lapses, it is allowed to end rather than being continued, renewed, or extended.

Her membership of the Labour Party has lapsed...

Ford allowed the name and trademark to lapse during the Eighties.

8) VERB If a member of a particular religion lapses, they stop believing in it or stop following its rules and practices.

I lapsed in my 20s, returned to it, then lapsed again, while writing the life of historical Jesus...

[V-ed] She calls herself a lapsed Catholic.

English dictionary. 2008.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • lapse — 1 / laps/ n: a termination or failure due to events, neglect, or time: as a: the failure of a bequest (as because the intended recipient dies before the testator) compare anti lapse statute b: the termination of an insurance policy because of… …   Law dictionary

  • lapse — n 1 slip, *error, mistake, blunder, faux pas, bull, howler, boner Analogous words: *offense, sin, vice, crime: *fault, failing, frailty, foible: transgression, *breach, violation, trespass 2 relapse, backsliding (see under LAPSE vb) …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Lapse — (l[a^]ps), n. [L. lapsus, fr. labi, p. p. lapsus, to slide, to fall: cf. F. laps. See {Sleep}.] 1. A gliding, slipping, or gradual falling; an unobserved or imperceptible progress or passing away,; restricted usually to immaterial things, or to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Lapse — Lapse, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Lapsed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Lapsing}.] 1. To pass slowly and smoothly downward, backward, or away; to slip downward, backward, or away; to glide; mostly restricted to figurative uses. [1913 Webster] A tendency to lapse… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • lapse — [n1] mistake blunder, breach, bungle, crime, error, failing, failure, fault, flub, foible, frailty, gaff, goof, goof up*, indiscretion, miscue, negligence, offense, omission, oversight, screw up*, sin, slip, slip up, transgression, trespass,… …   New thesaurus

  • Lapse — Lapse, v. t. 1. To let slip; to permit to devolve on another; to allow to pass. [1913 Webster] An appeal may be deserted by the appellant s lapsing the term of law. Ayliffe. [1913 Webster] 2. To surprise in a fault or error; hence, to surprise or …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • lapse — ► NOUN 1) a brief failure of concentration, memory, or judgement. 2) a decline from previously high standards. 3) an interval of time. 4) Law the termination of a right or privilege through disuse or failure to follow appropriate procedures. ►… …   English terms dictionary

  • lapse — [laps] n. [L lapsus, a fall: see LAP1] 1. a slip of the tongue, pen, or memory; small error; fault 2. a) a falling away from a moral standard; moral slip b) a falling or slipping into a lower or worse condition, esp. for a short time 3 …   English World dictionary

  • lapse — relapse …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • lapse — ▪ I. lapse lapse 1 [læps] verb [intransitive] 1. COMMERCE if a contract, agreement, or offer lapses, it ends because an agreed time limit has passed: • The customer has the right to exercise the option or allow the option to lapse. • There are… …   Financial and business terms

  • lapse — lapse1 [læps] n [Date: 1300 1400; : Latin; Origin: lapsus, from labi to slip ] 1.) a short period of time during which you fail to do something well or properly, often caused by not being careful momentary/temporary/occasional etc lapse ▪ Despite …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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