from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- intransitive v. To fall or slide back into a former state.
- intransitive v. To regress after partial recovery from illness.
- intransitive v. To slip back into bad ways; backslide.
- n. A falling back into a former state, especially after apparent improvement.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To fall back again.
- v. To recur; to worsen, be aggravated.
- n. The act or situation of relapsing.
- n. One who has relapsed, or fallen back into error; a backslider.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- intransitive v. To slip or slide back, in a literal sense; to turn back.
- intransitive v. To slide or turn back into a former state or practice; to fall back from some condition attained; -- generally in a bad sense, as from a state of convalescence or amended condition; ; -- sometimes in a good sense.
- intransitive v. To fall from Christian faith into paganism, heresy, or unbelief; to backslide.
- n. A sliding or falling back, especially into a former bad state, either of body or morals; backsliding; the state of having fallen back.
- n. One who has relapsed, or fallen back, into error; a backslider; specifically, one who, after recanting error, returns to it again.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To slip or slide back; return.
- To fall back; return to a former bad state or practice; backslide: as, to relapse into vice or error after amendment.
- To fall back from recovery or a convalescent state.
- n. A sliding or falling back, particularly into a former evil state.
- n. One who has refallen into vice or error; specifically, one who returns into error after having recanted it.
- n. In medicine, the return of a disease or symptom during or directly after convalescence. See recrudescence.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. deteriorate in health
- n. a failure to maintain a higher state
- v. go back to bad behavior
Middle English relapsen, to forswear, from Latin relābī, relāps-, to fall back gradually : re-, re- + lābī, to slide.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin relapsus, past participle of relabi ("to slide back, fall back"), from re- ("back") + labi ("to slip, slide, fall"). (Wiktionary)