1. [syn: backsliding, lapse, lapsing, relapse, relapsing, reversion, reverting]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Lapse \Lapse\, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Lapsed; p. pr. & vb. n.
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.
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.
(a) 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
(b) To become ineffectual or void; to fall.
If the archbishop shall not fill it up within
six months ensuing, it lapses to the king.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: a failure to maintain a higher state [syn: backsliding,
lapse, lapsing, relapse, relapsing, reversion,