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used in a sentence
3 meanings
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1  —as in:
a lapse in judgement
Definition a change in behavior or state—usually undesired such as a temporary failure
The exact meaning of this sense of lapse is often subject to its context:
  • basic example that simply indicates an undesired change in behavior — "lapsed into alcoholism"
  • example indicating that the change was short-term and due to a failure (often of effort or diligence) — "a lapse in judgment"
  • example indicating return to a previous undesired behavior or state — "lapsed into her old bad habits"
  • examples indicating a change in what was occurring where the change is not necessarily negative — "There was a lapse in the conversation," or "She stopped talking as she lapsed into her own internal world."
  • Apparently the error occurred because of a lapse in the air controller's concentration.
lapse = temporary failure
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • Her job is to assure there is no lapse of the high standards at their hotels.
  • lapse = uncharacteristic failure
  • It was totally unlike them, this lapse from gentility, and it made them much more interesting.
    Natalie Babbitt  --  Tuck Everlasting
  • lapse = change in behavior
  • I don't like this lapsing into forgetfulness.
    Bram Stoker  --  Dracula
  • lapsing = changing to an unfavorable state
  • Reverend Sykes used his pulpit more freely to express his views on individual lapses from grace:
    Harper Lee  --  To Kill a Mockingbird
  • lapses = an undesired change in behavior
  • If ever I hear again of any lapse from a proper standard of infantile decorum, I shall ask for your transference to a Sub-Centre–preferably to Iceland.
    Aldous Huxley  --  Brave New World
  • lapse = change in behavior
  • With new respect she moved to pass him the wooden bowl of popcorn, and to it she added a smile that caused him to lapse again into scarlet-faced silence.
    Elizabeth George Speare  --  The Witch of Blackbird Pond
  • lapse = change in behavior or state
  • In an uncharacteristic lapse, McCandless gave his parents' Annandale address when the arresting officer demanded to know his permanent place of residence.
    Jon Krakauer  --  Into the Wild
  • lapse = change in behavior (due to a lack of diligence)
  • A wolf, it is said—but here the tale has surely lapsed into the improbable—came up and smelt of Pearl's robe, and offered his savage head to be patted by her hand.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • lapsed = changed state
  • I took an academic interest in the thought of stealing the car, knowing all the time that it would be not so much criminal as meaningless, a lapse into nothing, an escape into nowhere.
    John Knowles  --  A Separate Peace
lapse = a change in behavior or state

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary list —®
2  —as in:
allowed the policy to lapse
Definition end or terminate — often of legal rights or of a person's association with an organization
  • She allowed her membership at the club to lapse.
lapse = end or terminate
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • She allowed her life insurance to lapse.
  • lapse = end or terminate
  • I'm a lapsed vegetarian.
  • lapsed = terminated (no longer practicing)
  • Our correspondence lapsed.
  • lapsed = ended (stopped occurring)
  • Might it not, in the tedious lapse of official life that lay before me, finally be with me as it was with this venerable friend—to make the dinner-hour the nucleus of the day, and to spend the rest of it, as an old dog spends it, asleep in the sunshine or in the shade?
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • lapse = ending
  • Thousand-guilder notes are being declared invalid. ... The five-hundred notes will lapse at the same time.
    Anne Frank  --  The Diary of a Young Girl
  • lapse = end (no longer be accepted)
  • one time, some people remembered, there had been a recital of some sort, performed by the official of the lottery, a perfunctory, tuneless chant that had been rattled off duly each year; ... but years and years ago this part of the ritual had been allowed to lapse.
    Shirley Jackson  --  The Lottery
lapse = end

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary list —®
3  —as in:
after the lapse of many hours
Definition a period of time — often a period that has passed
  • Three weeks lapsed before they met again.
lapsed = passed
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • There was a lapse of almost a fifth of a second between the time she saw the danger and began to run.
  • lapse = passage of time
  • She showed a time-lapse video of the flower growing.
  • time-lapse = a technique of showing events faster than they happen by taking a series of pictures, one after each passing of some time period, and then combing the pictures into a quick video
  • ...I tried to decipher between lapses into stale sleep, the meaning of Leper's telegram.
    John Knowles  --  A Separate Peace
  • lapses = passages of time
  • These are the reflections of the first days; but when the lapse of time proves the reality of the evil, then the actual bitterness of grief commences.
    Mary Shelley  --  Frankenstein
  • lapse = passing (of a period of time)
  • But, in the lapse of the toilsome, thoughtful, and self-devoted years that made up Hester's life, the scarlet letter ceased to be a stigma which attracted the world's scorn and bitterness, and became a type of something to be sorrowed over, and looked upon with awe, yet with reverence too.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • lapse = passing (of a period of time)
  • ...and then, after the lapse of sixty minutes...
    Edgar Allan Poe  --  The Masque of the Red Death
  • lapse = passing (of a period of time)
  • Hereupon, Pearl broke away from her mother, and, running to the brook, stooped over it, and bathed her forehead, until the unwelcome kiss was quite washed off and diffused through a long lapse of the gliding water.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • lapse = passing (of a period of time)
  • Mr. Dimmesdale was a true priest, a true religionist, with the reverential sentiment largely developed, and an order of mind that impelled itself powerfully along the track of a creed, and wore its passage continually deeper with the lapse of time.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • lapse = passing (of a period of time)
  • This phenomenon, in the various shapes which it assumed, indicated no external change, but so sudden and important a change in the spectator of the familiar scene, that the intervening space of a single day had operated on his consciousness like the lapse of years.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
lapse = passing (of a period of time)

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary list —®
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