lapse - definition and synonyms

noun [countable] 

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  1. 1
    a short or temporary period when you fail or forget to do something in the right way

    The man admitted driving over the speed limit and apologized for the lapse.

    lapse of:

    She was angered by her momentary lapse of control.

    lapse in:

    Today showed that I can have lapses in concentration.

    memory lapse (=a temporary failure to remember something):

    Members of the committee were puzzled by the memory lapses of White House officials.

    security lapse (=a temporary failure in arrangements for people’s safety):

    There have been security lapses despite efforts to protect the public.

     Synonyms and related words
    1. a.
      a gradual or temporary change to a worse or more unusual type of behaviour or activity
      lapse into:

      Carol’s lapses into strong language only made her sound immature.

  2. 2
    a period of time between two events

    There was a lapse of ten years between his visits.

    1. a.
      a temporary pause in an activity

      During a lapse in the conversation, I thanked my host and left.