verb (used without object), lapsed, laps·ing.

Origin of lapse

1520–30; < Latin lāpsus an error, slipping, failing, equivalent to lāb(ī) to slide, slip, fall, make a mistake + -sus, for -tus suffix of v. action
Related formslaps·er, nounun·laps·ing, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for lapsers



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

verb (intr)

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
Derived Formslapsable or lapsible, adjectivelapsed, adjectivelapser, noun

Word Origin for lapse

C15: from Latin lāpsus error, from lābī to glide
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for lapsers



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper