- expired; voided; terminated: a lapsed insurance policy.
- no longer committed to or following the tenets of a particular belief, obligation, position, etc.: a lapsed Catholic.
Origin of lapsed
- 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.
- a slip or error, often of a trivial sort; failure: a lapse of memory.
- an interval or passage of time; elapsed period: a lapse of ten minutes before the program resumed.
- a moral fall, as from rectitude or virtue.
- a fall or decline to a lower grade, condition, or degree; descent; regression: a lapse into savagery.
- the act of falling, slipping, sliding, etc., slowly or by degrees.
- a falling into disuse.
- Insurance. discontinuance of coverage resulting from nonpayment of a premium; termination of a policy.
- Law. the termination of a right or privilege through neglect to exercise it or through failure of some contingency.
- Meteorology. lapse rate.
- Archaic. a gentle, downward flow, as of water.
- 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.
- to come to an end; stop: We let our subscription to that magazine lapse.
- to fall, slip, or sink; subside: to lapse into silence.
- to fall into disuse: The custom lapsed after a period of time.
- to deviate or abandon principles, beliefs, etc.: to lapse into heresy.
- to fall spiritually, as an apostate: to lapse from grace.
- to pass away, as time; elapse.
- Law. to become void, as a legacy to someone who dies before the testator.
- to cease being in force; terminate: Your insurance policy will lapse after 30 days.
Origin of lapse
Examples from the Web for lapsed
His continued enthusiasm for his work, when most other people would have long since lapsed into retirement, was remarkable.Matisse: Innovator Until the End
April 16, 2014
Evans, 31, whose eyes gleam behind a mess of blonde hair, was a formerly committed Christian whose faith had lapsed.Sunday Assembly Is the Hot New Atheist Church
September 21, 2013
Sher lapsed into prayer, imploring Allah to make the executions stop.Death on Killer Mountain
July 6, 2013
At one point, when David was sitting with him, he lapsed into a restless sleep in which he began shouting in French.Peter Worthington: A Life Well Lived
May 23, 2013
As a lapsed Mississippian, one of the most shocking to me regarded his visit with Jefferson Davis down at Davis' home in Biloxi.Brian Bedford Interviewed on The Importance of Being Earnest
January 22, 2011
Many of the fighting nations have lapsed back into the pre-Jonah era.Understanding the Scriptures
Bill grunted his disagreement with the diagnosis, and lapsed into silence.White Fang
Eventually, however, she lapsed into a sort of listless immobility.Cleo The Magnificent
Then she became dizzy once more, and lapsed into silent thought.The Fortune of the Rougons
For a moment or so Rose, previously so talkative, had lapsed into silence.Fruitfulness
- a drop in standard of an isolated or temporary naturea lapse of justice
- a break in occurrence, usage, etca lapse of five weeks between letters
- a gradual decline or a drop to a lower degree, condition, or statea lapse from high office
- a moral fall
- law the termination of some right, interest, or privilege, as by neglecting to exercise it or through failure of some contingency
- insurance the termination of coverage following a failure to pay the premiums
- to drop in standard or fail to maintain a norm
- to decline gradually or fall in status, condition, etc
- to be discontinued, esp through negligence or other failure
- (usually foll by into) to drift or slide (into a condition)to lapse into sleep
- (often foll by from) to turn away (from beliefs or norms)
- law (of a devise or bequest) to become void, as on the beneficiary's predeceasing the testator
- (of time) to slip away
Word Origin and History for lapsed
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.
early 15c., said to be from lapse (n.) or from Latin lapsare "to lose one's footing." Related: Lapsed; lapses; lapsing.