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2 definitions found
 for lapsing
From 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.
        [1913 Webster]
              A tendency to lapse into the barbarity of those
              northern nations from whom we are descended.
        [1913 Webster]
              Homer, in his characters of Vulcan and Thersites,
              has lapsed into the burlesque character. --Addison.
        [1913 Webster]
     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.
        [1913 Webster]
              To lapse in fullness
              Is sorer than to lie for need.        --Shak.
        [1913 Webster]
     3. (Law)
        (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
            legatee, etc.
        (b) To become ineffectual or void; to fall.
            [1913 Webster]
                  If the archbishop shall not fill it up within
                  six months ensuing, it lapses to the king.
            [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

      n 1: a failure to maintain a higher state [syn: backsliding,
           lapse, lapsing, relapse, relapsing, reversion,

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