I. lapse lapse 1 [læps] verb [intransitive]
1. COMMERCE if a contract, agreement, or offer lapses, it ends because an agreed time limit has passed:

• The customer has the right to exercise the option or allow the option to lapse.

• There are many films on which the copyright has lapsed and hasn't been renewed.

2. INSURANCE if an insurance policy lapses, it ends because the regular payments required have not been made:

• Kimble let his fire insurance lapse when he couldn't afford the premiums.

lapse into something phrasal verb [transitive]
to begin to be in a bad state:

The economy lapsed deeper into recession.

• The stock market lapsed into a broad decline today.

  [m0] II. lapse lapse 2 noun [countable]
1. a period of time between two events:

• There is a four-day lapse between the time a patron buys a ticket and the money is deposited in the bank.

2. a failure to do something you should do:

• The customer complained about a lapse in service.

• The audit uncovered accounting lapses.

* * *

lapse UK US /læps/ verb [I]
if something such as an agreement lapses, it ends legally or officially because nothing has been done to make it continue, for example because payments are not made: »

The agreement ran for three years, after which they decided to allow it to lapse.


Many uninsured drivers aren't even aware that their insurance has lapsed.

lapse UK US /læps/ noun
[C] a mistake that is made because of a temporary lack of attention to something: lapse in sth »

There had been a lapse in security at the company, and the personal details of hundreds of customers had been made public.


a security lapse

[C, usually singular] a period of time that passes between two things happening: »

The company will resume paying a quarterly dividend on common shares, following a two-year lapse.


a time lapse

Financial and business terms. 2012.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • lapse — 1 / laps/ n: a termination or failure due to events, neglect, or time: as a: the failure of a bequest (as because the intended recipient dies before the testator) compare anti lapse statute b: the termination of an insurance policy because of… …   Law dictionary

  • lapse — n 1 slip, *error, mistake, blunder, faux pas, bull, howler, boner Analogous words: *offense, sin, vice, crime: *fault, failing, frailty, foible: transgression, *breach, violation, trespass 2 relapse, backsliding (see under LAPSE vb) …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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. [1913 Webster] A tendency to lapse… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • lapse — [n1] mistake blunder, breach, bungle, crime, error, failing, failure, fault, flub, foible, frailty, gaff, goof, goof up*, indiscretion, miscue, negligence, offense, omission, oversight, screw up*, sin, slip, slip up, transgression, trespass,… …   New thesaurus

  • Lapse — Lapse, v. t. 1. To let slip; to permit to devolve on another; to allow to pass. [1913 Webster] An appeal may be deserted by the appellant s lapsing the term of law. Ayliffe. [1913 Webster] 2. To surprise in a fault or error; hence, to surprise or …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • lapse — ► NOUN 1) a brief failure of concentration, memory, or judgement. 2) a decline from previously high standards. 3) an interval of time. 4) Law the termination of a right or privilege through disuse or failure to follow appropriate procedures. ►… …   English terms dictionary

  • lapse — [laps] n. [L lapsus, a fall: see LAP1] 1. a slip of the tongue, pen, or memory; small error; fault 2. a) a falling away from a moral standard; moral slip b) a falling or slipping into a lower or worse condition, esp. for a short time 3 …   English World dictionary

  • lapse — relapse …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • lapse — lapse1 [læps] n [Date: 1300 1400; : Latin; Origin: lapsus, from labi to slip ] 1.) a short period of time during which you fail to do something well or properly, often caused by not being careful momentary/temporary/occasional etc lapse ▪ Despite …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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