The FindLaw Legal Dictionary -- free access to over 8260 definitions of legal terms. Search for a definition or browse our legal glossaries.
: a termination or failure due to events, neglect, or time: as
a : the failure of a bequest (as because the intended recipient dies before the testator) compare anti-lapse statute
b : the termination of an insurance policy because of nonpayment of premiums or nonrenewal
: to terminate, become ineffective, or fail [the bequest lapsed when the son died before the father] [allowed the insurance policy to ]
: to cause (as a policy) to lapse [the company lapsed the policy]
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.