Definitions of lapse

  1. To surprise in a fault or error; hence, to surprise or catch, as an offender.
  2. To slide or slip in moral conduct; to fail in duty; to fall from virtue; to deviate from rectitude; to commit a fault by inadvertence or mistake.
  3. To fall or pass from one proprietor to another, or from the original destination, by the omission, negligence, or failure of some one, as a patron, a legatee, etc.
  4. To become ineffectual or void; to fall.
  5. To pass slowly and smoothly downward, backward, or away; to slip downward, backward, or away; to glide; - mostly restricted to figurative uses.
  6. To slip slowly away; as, his interest lapsed; to fall into ruin by degrees; commit a fault or fail in duty; pass to another owner by neglect or death; as, the title lapsed.
  7. To slip or glide: to pass by degrees: to fall from the faith or from virtue: to fail in duty: to pass to another proprietor by the negligence of a patron, etc.: to become void.
  8. To pass gradually; glide; slip; to pass out of possession, as a title to property; become void.
  9. pass by, as of time
  10. go back to bad behavior; " Those who recidivate are often minor criminals"
  11. end, at least for a long time; " The correspondence lapsed"
  12. pass into a specified state or condition; " He sank into Nirvana"
  13. To pass slowly, silently, or by degrees; to commit a fault by inadvertency or mistake; to fall or pass from one to another by omission or negligence, as property.
  14. a break or intermission in the occurrence of something; " a lapse of three weeks between letters"
  15. pass by; " three years elapsed"
  16. A slip; an error; a fault; a failing in duty; a slight deviation from truth or rectitude.
  17. The termination of a right or privilege through neglect to exercise it within the limited time, or through failure of some contingency; hence, the devolution of a right or privilege.
  18. A fall or apostasy.
  19. Under a will, the failure of a gift of property. A gift lapses when the beneficiary dies before the person who made the will, and no alternate has been named. Some states have anti- lapse statutes, which prevent gifts to relatives of the deceased person from lapsing unless the relative has no heirs of his or her own. A lapsed gift becomes part of the residuary estate.
  20. A gliding, slipping, or gradual falling; an unobserved or imperceptible progress or passing away,; - restricted usually to immaterial things, or to figurative uses.
  21. A gliding or passing away slowly; as, the lapse of time; slight fault or mistake; the ending of a claim, right, etc., through failure to assert or exercise it.
  22. A slipping or falling: a failing in duty: a fault: a gliding, a passing.
  23. A slipping or passing away; failure; error.
  24. A gliding; a slight error or mistake; a slip; a falling or passing; omission to present to a benefice in due time, which gives the right to another.