intr.v. re·lapsed, re·laps·ing, re·laps·es
1. To return to a former state.
a. To become sicker after partial recovery from an illness.
b. To recur. Used of an illness.
3. To slip back into bad ways; backslide.
n. (rēlăps, rĭ-lăps)
A return to a former state, especially after apparent improvement.
[Middle English relapsen, to forswear, from Latin relābī, relāps-, to fall back gradually : re-, re- + lābī, to slide.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.