1. A gliding, slipping, or gradual falling; an unobserved or imperceptible progress or passing away,; restricted usually to immaterial things, or to figurative uses. The lapse to indolence is soft and imperceptible. (Rambler) Bacon was content to wait the lapse of long centuries for his expected revenue of fame. (i. Taylor)
2. A slip; an error; a fault; a failing in duty; a slight deviation from truth or rectitude. To guard against those lapses and failings to which our infirmities daily expose us. (Rogers)
3. The termination of a right or privilege through neglect to exercise it within the limited time, or through failure of some contingency; hence, the devolution of a right or privilege.
4. A fall or apostasy.
Origin: L. Lapsus, fr. Labi, p. P. Lapsus, to slide, to fall: cf. F. Laps. See sleep.