To relapse is to fall back to a previous position or situation. This word is only used when a situation gets worse.

This is how you use it as a verb:

  • Janet had been feeling better after her surgery but then suddenly relapsed.
  • Tony quit smoking last year, but recently he has relapsed and now he smokes a few cigarettes every day.
  • Economic experts doubt that the U.S. economy will relapse and enter a new period of rececssion any time soon.

This is how you use "relapse" as a noun:

  • Immediately after her surgery, her condition improved, but now she’s experiencing a bit of a relapse.
  • Tanya’s relapse towards depression was due to the death of her cat.

sickHe’s experiencing a relapse.

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August 7, 2014