A gliding, slipping, or gradual falling; an unobserved or imperceptible progress or passing away,; -- restricted usually to immaterial things, or to figurative uses.
- To fall from a previous level or standard, as of accomplishment, quality, or conduct: lapse into bad habits; a team that lapsed into mediocrity halfway through the season.
- To deviate from a prescribed or accepted way: lapse into heresy.
- To pass gradually or smoothly; slip: lapse into reverie.
- To come to an end, especially gradually or temporarily: He realized that his attention had lapsed and he hadn't heard the assignment.
- To be no longer valid or active; expire: She allowed her membership to lapse after the first year.
- Law To pass to another through neglect or omission. Used of a right or privilege, a benefice, or an estate.
- To go by; elapse: Years had lapsed since we last met.
- To allow to lapse.
- The act or an instance of lapsing, as:
- A usually minor or temporary failure; a slip: a lapse of memory; a lapse in judgment.
- A deterioration or decline: a lapse into barbarism.
- A moral fall: a lapse from grace.
- A break in continuity; a pause: a lapse in the conversation.
- A period of time; an interval: a lapse of several years between the two revolutions.
- Law The termination of a right or privilege through disuse, neglect, or death.