Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

lapse

2 verb
     
lapse2 [intransitive]
1 to gradually come to an end or to stop for a period of time:
The conversation lapsed.
2 if a contract, agreement etc lapses, it comes to an end, usually because an agreed time limit has passed:
Your booking will automatically lapse unless you confirm it.
3 to stop believing in or following a religion:
those people who have lapsed from the practice of their religion
4 formal if a period of time lapses, it passes:
Many years had lapsed since her first visit to Wexford.

lapse into something

phrasal verb
1

lapse into unconsciousness/silence/sleep etc

to go into a quiet or less active state:
He lapsed into a coma and died two days later.
Alison lapsed into puzzled silence.
2 to begin to behave or speak in a way that you did before:
She lapsed back into her old ways.
Occasionally he lapsed into his native German.
3 to get into a worse state or become worse:
Following his death, the Empire lapsed into chaos.
His poetry often lapses into sentimentality.

Dictionary pictures of the day
Do you know what each of these is called?
What is the word for picture 1? What is the word for picture 2? What is the word for picture 3? What is the word for picture 4?
Click on any of the pictures above to find out what it is called.

Explore our topic dictionary