V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary


noun, verb

Definition: (n.) 1. a failure to maintain a former, higher state or way of life; 2. in medicine, a worsening of a health condition which seemed to be better; (v.) 1. to fall back into a former and undesirable state; 2. to become ill again after seeming to have made a recovery from illness

Synonyms: (n.) regression, reversion, setback, return, decline, recurrence, (v.) backslide, degenerate, fail, depreciate, revert, regress

Antonyms: (n.,v.) progress

Tips: Relapse is most often heard in regard to illness or reversion into the misuse of illegal drugs after being "clean" for a time. To say that someone has relapsed into former bad habits, after abstinence from them, is a critique. In medicine, you will often hear of someone having a relapse (recurrence) of cancer or other illness.

Usage Examples:

Following a highly stressful period in her life, Angelica had a relapse and had to be admitted into a drug treatment program. (regression, setback) noun

Cynthia's back pain had subsided, but relapsed when she stopped exercising. (returned, reverted) verb

Although he had been happy again, for years, Bob relapsed into a state of depression when his mother died. (regressed, reverted) verb

My cancer is in remission and I'm optimistic that I won't have a relapse. (return, recurrence) noun

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