lapse ( lapses plural & 3rd person present) ( lapsing present participle) ( lapsed past tense & past participle )
1 n-count A lapse is a moment or instance of bad behaviour by someone who usually behaves well.
usu adj N, N in n
On Friday he showed neither decency nor dignity. It was an uncommon lapse.
2 n-count A lapseof something such as concentration or judgment is a temporary lack of that thing, which can often cause you to make a mistake.
N of n, supp N
I had a little lapse of concentration in the middle of the race..., The incident was being seen as a serious security lapse.
3 verb If you lapseinto a quiet or inactive state, you stop talking or being active.
She muttered something unintelligible and lapsed into silence... V into n
4 verb If someone lapsesinto a particular way of speaking, or behaving, they start speaking or behaving in that way, usually for a short period.
Teenagers occasionally find it all too much to cope with and lapse into bad behaviour. V into n
Lapse is also a noun., n-count usu N into n
Her lapse into German didn't seem peculiar. After all, it was her native tongue.
5 n-sing A lapseof time is a period that is long enough for a situation to change or for people to have a different opinion about it.
usu N of n, supp N
...the restoration of diplomatic relations after a lapse of 24 years..., There is usually a time lapse between receipt of new information and its publication.
6 verb If a period of time lapses, it passes.
New products and production processes are transferred to the developing countries only after a substantial amount of time has lapsed. V
7 verb If a situation or legal contract lapses, it is allowed to end rather than being continued, renewed, or extended.
Her membership of the Labour Party has lapsed... V
Ford allowed the name and trademark to lapse during the Eighties. V
8 verb If a member of a particular religion lapses, they stop believing in it or stop following its rules and practices.
She calls herself a lapsed Catholic. V-ed