Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1300-1400
Language: Latin
Origin: lapsus, from labi 'to slip'

lapse

1 noun
     
lapse1 [countable]
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 the occasional lapse, this was a fine performance by the young saxophonist.
A defensive lapse by Keown allowed Tottenham to score.
lapse in
lapses in security
lapse of
A single lapse of concentration cost Sampras the game.
a lapse of judgement
After taking the drug, several patients suffered memory lapses (=when you cannot remember something for a short time).
2 a failure to do something you should do, especially to behave correctly:
He forgot to offer Darren a drink, but Marie did not appear to notice the lapse.
3 [usually singular] a period of time between two events:
The usual time lapse between request and delivery is two days.
lapse of
a lapse of about ten seconds

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