Definition of elapse in US English:



[no object]
  • (of time) pass or go by.

    ‘weeks elapsed before anyone was charged with the attack’
    ‘a display tells you which track is playing and its elapsed time’
    • ‘Once a 30-day period elapses, the documentation will be used to announce a tender for construction of a railway bridge needed for the ring road.’
    • ‘As more time elapsed, my chances of survival would grow progressively slim.’
    • ‘Various factors, including the time elapsing between any remarks and the trial, can affect this.’
    • ‘There is nothing, though, to stop people in these categories from going along again when that time elapses.’
    • ‘A few more moments passed in a seamless elapse of time until the deep metal sound of the ending bell was heard.’
    • ‘With almost a decade elapsing between the initial stages and money in the till, surely it's hard to predict what the public will favour in the future?’
    • ‘She says this gets more difficult as time elapses.’
    • ‘However, as time elapses, little is done to improve or set a solidified path toward upgrading.’
    • ‘A period of time elapses before the full effects of your action is felt.’
    • ‘The law effectively discourages new owners from investing in repairs before a year elapses.’
    • ‘A considerable time often elapses before the Home Office makes a decision on individual cases, and it is on these that this article will primarily focus.’
    • ‘Occasionally events build upon each other, then the tension elapses in a natural way.’
    • ‘Under Indonesia's complex impeachment rules, three months must elapse before a second censure motion can be passed.’
    • ‘As time elapses, the team that covers the most laps wins.’
    • ‘Speed is certainly of the essence in the mobile registration exercise if the targeted five million voters are to be captured before the designated 21 day period elapses.’
    • ‘This base score is multiplied if the alliance clocks out before the two-minute match elapses.’
    • ‘It is also true that eight and a half years have now elapsed since the proceedings were commenced.’
    • ‘The electronic system will send an automatic text message to the car owner 10 minutes before the parking time elapses.’
    • ‘Experts tell us that with missing persons cases, the more that time elapses, the colder the case becomes.’
    • ‘Surely an anniversary is not a matter of discretion, but determined by the stipulated period of time elapsing in its usual and inalterable course?’
    pass, go by, go past, proceed, progress, advance, wear on, march on, slip away, slip by, slip past, roll by, roll past, glide by, glide past, slide by, slide past, steal by, steal past, tick by, tick past
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Late 16th century (in the sense ‘slip away’): from Latin elaps- ‘slipped away’, from the verb elabi, from e- (variant of ex-) ‘out, away’ + labi ‘to glide, slip’.