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as in:  a lapse in judgement

Apparently the error occurred because of a lapse in the air controller’s concentration.
  a change in behavior or state—usually undesired

(see word notes for more detailed definitions based upon context)
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lapse lapsed lapses lapsing
The exact meaning of this sense of lapse is often subject to its context. For example:
  • usually undesired — as in "lapsed into alcoholism"
  • often short-term and due to a lack of effort or diligence — as in "a lapse in judgment"
  • often back to a previous undesired behavior or state — as in "lapsed into her old bad habits"
  • sometimes a break in continuity which is not necessarily negative — as in "There was a lapse in the conversation," or "She stopped talking as she lapsed into her own internal world."

Lapse has many reasonably common, but highly diverse senses. Accordingly, it is generally recommended that you just learn the sense (or senses) that currently interest you.

Memory aid:  It might help you to remember the different senses of lapse, if you think of all of them as having to do with time.
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  • Apparently the error occurred because of a lapse in the air controller’s concentration.
  • Her job is to assure there is no lapse of the high standards at their hotels.
  • Is it possible that I had a momentary lapse of sanity?
    Colleen Hoover  --  Slammed
  • Broken banjo strings, momentary passionate lapses of harmony, voices that go from smooth to gravelly to all-out screaming in a single verse.
    Colleen Hoover  --  Slammed
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Associated words [difficulty]:   lapse [3] , elapse [2]
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Most commonly used in these subjects:   Classic Literature, Personal Finance, Law
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