from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. No longer active or practicing: a lapsed Catholic; a lapsed club member.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. Simple past tense and past participle of lapse.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Having slipped downward, backward, or away; having lost position, privilege, etc., by neglect; -- restricted to figurative uses.
  • adj. Ineffectual, void, or forfeited

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. no longer active or practicing


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • When the title lapsed the old Countess, who was the only member of the family left, simply sold up everything, lock, stock and barrel.

    Sweet Danger

  • There were never any estates; the title lapsed; the present earldom is a new creation, not in the same family at all.

    Mark Twain, a Biography. Complete

  • Neither of his two marriages were recognized by the king, and the title lapsed at his death in 1843.

    The Seattle Times

  • Niemeier, who has continued to serve even though his term lapsed in October 2008, has one of three seats that Schapiro must fill. -- Top News

  • But she's what I refer to as a lapsed Jew and hasn't outwardly practiced or visited a synagogue in years -- not that I have either.

    Raymond Leon Roker: Broken Promise Land: What I Saw In Israel

  • But the CC has not been reconstituted since its term lapsed in 2005, allowing room for abuse, as under the JR Jayawardane regime

    TamilNet Newswire

  • And she bribed or frightened the parson, who must have been an awful fool, anyhow, into saying there hadn’t been any marriage, and so the title lapsed, and the Countess Josephine sold up everything and had the house pulled down.

    Sweet Danger

  • To be sure, even among Christians, some of those we are calling lapsed are themselves the children of lapsed parents, but lapsing that is, nonattendance has risen very sharply across the generations.

    American Grace

  • Then Nur al-Din lapsed into a swoon, the forerunner of death; but presently recovering himself he said, O Hasan, O my son, I will now bequeath to thee five last behests.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • India, for example, long content to build a business on the production of pharmaceuticals for which the patents have lapsed, is now set to carry out its own front line research.

    Another Day in the Ketchup Mine


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.