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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
lapse
I.noun
COLLOCATIONS FROM OTHER ENTRIES
a lapse in/of concentration (=a short time when you do not concentrate)
▪ That brief lapse of concentration resulted in a goal for the other team.
a lapse of memory/a memory lapse (=when you cannot remember something for a short time)
▪ The alcohol seemed to make him suffer lapses of memory.
a lapse of memory/a memory lapse (=when you cannot remember something for a short time)
▪ The alcohol seemed to make him suffer lapses of memory.
lapse into silence (=to stop talking and be quiet)
▪ 'I don't want any,' he said, and lapsed into silence again.
sb's membership expires/lapses (=it comes to an end)
▪ We will send you a letter when your membership is about to expire.
slip/lapse/fall/sink into a coma (=go into one)
▪ Brett slipped into a coma from which he never awakened.
COLLOCATIONS FROM CORPUS
■ ADJECTIVE
momentary
▪ Those who are not must forgive me my momentary lapse into modest mathematical sophistication.
▪ She turned and looked about her, suddenly angered by the mess she had made - by her momentary lapse of control.
▪ More interesting was the momentary lapse of patience by Coach Dave Wannstedt in defending the moves.
occasional
▪ The diagrams that accompany the text are usually excellent with only the occasional lapse.
▪ Some people think Sawyer would make a lousy anchor because of her occasional lapses into tabloid tawdriness.
▪ There are very occasional technical lapses but nothing distressing.
temporary
▪ When she had been little, temporary lapses and been easily passed over.
■ NOUN
memory
▪ Towards the end Miss Servadei suffered several stumbles and a memory lapse, which unsettled this listener.
▪ Flubbed high notes or an obvious memory lapse during an important opening-night performance can erode a reputation.
▪ In any event, memory lapses are likely to present major reliability problems.
▪ The symptoms included memory lapses, depression, insomnia, daytime fatigue, slurred speech, confusion and migraine like headaches.
time
▪ I have long been concerned about the time lapse from the commissioning of a book to its appearance in the shops.
▪ This involves noting when the specified behaviour starts, noting again when it ends and recording the time lapse.
▪ In terms of this initial time lapse, two distinct groups can be identified.
▪ The conditions which will influence these decisions include the site, time lapse before treatment, contamination and state of the circulation.
▪ The other five deploy flashbacks and almost constant time lapses.
▪ There may be a time lapse between teaching and practical experience, so that recall may be impaired.
EXAMPLES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
▪ He didn't offer Darren a drink, and Marie did not appear to notice the lapse.
EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS
▪ But the life of a first generation feminist can be plagued by disconcerting lapses.
▪ He and Dean had just been laid off during a seniority lapse because of a drastic reduction of crews.
▪ He had not died or fallen ill, nor had Smallfry been made aware of his lapses.
▪ He kicked and usually punched, but his size and strength produced blows that jarred the body and caused lapses in consciousness.
▪ His claim that he had been constructively dismissed failed because of the lapse of time after 6 February 1981 before he took action.
▪ None of what has been said suggests that we should ignore ethical lapses or law-breaking by public figures.
▪ The clock was restored to its original condition in full working order in 1956, after a lapse of seventy-two years.
▪ There were a few lapses, but there was effort.
II.verb
COLLOCATIONS FROM CORPUS
■ ADVERB
in
▪ Her distraught family were given the bombshell news yesterday as the model lapsed in and out of horrific hallucinations.
▪ By this time Snyder was lapsing in and out of consciousness and his body temperature was fluctuating wildly.
In severe injury or in head injury he may lapse in and out of unconsciousness.
▪ He had lost a lot of blood and was lapsing in and out of consciousness.
■ NOUN
silence
▪ As the rest of the tawdry tale emerged the Foreign Office and Downing Street lapsed into embarrassed silence.
▪ But ultimately, words fail them and they lapse into silence.
▪ Edward lapsed once more into strangled silence.
▪ The Poole family, grouped rather self-consciously round the birthday cake on Earth, lapsed into a sudden silence.
▪ He had lapsed into a frozen silence which she found more worrying than his screams.
▪ Without my prompting, Jack often lapsed into silence.
▪ I would talk and laugh with my companions but withdraw, lapsing into silence, when I was offered any food.
▪ She lapsed into a deep silence which I did not try to disturb.
unconsciousness
▪ In severe injury or in head injury he may lapse in and out of unconsciousness.
EXAMPLES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
▪ Crockett wishes he hadn't let his insurance policies lapse last year.
▪ I let the conversation lapse and Kelly finally spoke up.
EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS
▪ A mysterious apple laced with morphine causes Snow White to lapse into a coma.
▪ In this situation professionals are most apt to allow their normal reserve about commerce to lapse, and to give meaningful information.
▪ Some have even lapsed into postfeminist inaction.
▪ The defense lapsed in the sixth, when shortstop Craig Shipley muffed a spinning grounder.
▪ There was moreover, a young man in the congregation who lapsed into this sin.
▪ They lapsed into writing meticulous creeds and inventing lifeless rituals.
▪ They were allowed to lapse in the late nineteenth century and were not revived until after the last war.
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Lapse

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.

    A tendency to lapse into the barbarity of those northern nations from whom we are descended.
    --Swift.

    Homer, in his characters of Vulcan and Thersites, has lapsed into the burlesque character.
    --Addison.

  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.

    To lapse in fullness Is sorer than to lie for need.
    --Shak.

  3. (Law)

    1. 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.

    2. To become ineffectual or void; to fall.

      If the archbishop shall not fill it up within six months ensuing, it lapses to the king.
      --Ayliffe.

Lapse

Lapse \Lapse\, v. t.

  1. To let slip; to permit to devolve on another; to allow to pass.

    An appeal may be deserted by the appellant's lapsing the term of law.
    --Ayliffe.

  2. To surprise in a fault or error; hence, to surprise or catch, as an offender. [Obs.]

    For which, if be lapsed in this place, I shall pay dear.
    --Shak.

Lapse

Lapse \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 figurative uses.

    The lapse to indolence is soft and imperceptible.
    --Rambler.

    Bacon was content to wait the lapse of long centuries for his expected revenue of fame.
    --I. Taylor.

  2. A slip; an error; a fault; a failing in duty; a slight deviation from truth or rectitude.

    To guard against those lapses and failings to which our infirmities daily expose us.
    --Rogers.

  3. (Law) 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.

  4. (Theol.) A fall or apostasy.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
lapse

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.

lapse

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

Wiktionary
lapse

n. 1 A temporary failure; a slip. 2 A decline or fall in standards. 3 A pause in continuity. 4 An interval of time between events. 5 A termination of a right etc, through disuse or neglect. 6 (weather) A marked decrease in air temperature with increasing altitude because the ground is warmer than the surrounding air. This condition usually occurs when skies are clear and between 1100 and 1600 hours, local time. Strong convection currents exist during lapse conditions. For chemical operations, the state is defined as unstable. This condition is normally considered the most unfavorable for the release of chemical agents. See lapse rate. 7 (context legal English) A common-law rule that if the person to whom property is will#Verbed were to die before the testator, then the gift would be ineffective. 8 (context theology English) A fall or apostasy. vb. 1 (context intransitive English) To fall away gradually; to subside. 2 (context intransitive English) To fall into error or heresy. 3 To slip into a bad habit that one is trying to avoid. 4 (context intransitive English) To become void. 5 To fall or pass from one proprietor to another, or from the original destination, by the omission, negligence, or failure of somebody, such as a patron or legatee.

WordNet
lapse
  1. n. a mistake resulting from inattention [syn: oversight]

  2. a break or intermission in the occurrence of something; "a lapse of three weeks between letters"

  3. a failure to maintain a higher state [syn: backsliding, lapsing, relapse, relapsing, reversion, reverting]

  4. v. pass into a specified state or condition; "He sank into Nirvana" [syn: sink, pass]

  5. end, at least for a long time; "The correspondence lapsed"

  6. drop to a lower level, as in one's morals or standards [syn: backslide]

  7. go back to bad behavior; "Those who recidivate are often minor criminals" [syn: relapse, recidivate, regress, retrogress, fall back]

  8. let slip; "He lapsed his membership"

  9. pass by; "three years elapsed" [syn: elapse, pass, slip by, glide by, slip away, go by, slide by, go along]

Wikipedia

Usage examples of "lapse".

He, therefore, who is known to have lapsed into heresy before his abjuration, if after his abjuration he receives heretics, visits them, gives or sends them presents or gifts, or shows favour to them, etc.

The second is when he has abjured al heresy in general, and yet lapses into another heresy, even if he has never before been suspected or accused of that heresy.

Adams with an animosity not diminished by the lapse of years since his defection from their party, strong in a consciousness of their own standing before their fellow citizens, the thirteen notables responded with much acrimony to Mr.

Church, not with speculations, but by demanding adherence to the old practice with regard to lapsed members.

 After a time, Anele wore out his inchoate sorrow and lapsed from weeping.

For solely thus you lead to light The trailing chapters she must write, And pass my fiery test of dead Or living through the furnace-pit: Dislinked from who the softer hold In grip of brute, and brute remain: Of whom the woeful tale is told, How for one short Sultanic reign, Their bodies lapse to mould, Their souls behowl the plain.

I never came, and after a lapse of thirty-one years Veraci keeps them still.

Soul, considered as a fragment of the Universal Mind, might be said to have lapsed from its pre-eminence when parted from its source, and ceasing to form part of integral perfection.

But who was he, Enderby, to adapt a great tragedy to the limited talents, New World phonemes and intonations and slangy lapses, cecity towards the past, Pyrrhonism and so on of this weak cry of players?

To cover the lapse he fumbled in his pocket, got out a cigarillo, and lit it.

Careful not to fall in love, I pulled away from my old, dear relationship with Sota of Drehe Farmhold, gradually letting it lapse, trying not to hurt him.

I tell this to Halifax, to the two ambassadors and to the Duce, and finally I telephone to Berlin that unless the Germans advise us to the contrary we shall let the conversations lapse.

He also had an occasional lapse into echolalia, repeating his own words again and again.

Iris was Catholic if lapsed, Harold is nothing that anyone knows of, but we are being ecumenical and eirenical in dark suits.

Unchaste dreams made her often dread to sleep, as she awoke from these unconscious lapses enervated, weak, and prostrated as though she had actually transgressed.