Lapse

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Lapse

The termination of a right or privilege due to inaction. In insurance, lapses occur on a policy if the policyholder fails to pay premiums. In this case, the right to receive the benefit lapses. In options, the contract lapses if the option is not exercised on or by the expiration date. In this case, the right to buy or sell the underlying asset lapses.

Lapse.

A lapse causes a policy, right, or privilege to end because the person or institution that would benefit fails to live up to its terms or meet its conditions.

For example, if you have a subscription right to buy additional shares of a stock at a price below the public offering price, you must generally act before a certain date. If that date passes, your right is said to lapse.

Similarly, if you have a life insurance policy that requires you to pay annual premiums, the policy will lapse if you fail to pay the premiums in time.

References in classic literature ?
Then he lapsed into silence, and swallowed sundry glasses of wine, looking more and more terrible, till a brisk knock at the door told of George's arrival when everybody began to rally.
A wolf, it is said -- but here the tale has surely lapsed into the improbable -- came up and smelt of Pearl's robe, and offered his savage head to be patted by her hand.
And a well, or an ice-house, it somehow proved to him, poor pagan; where, strange to say, for all the heat of his sweatings, he caught a terrible chill which lapsed into a fever; and at last, after some days' suffering, laid him in his hammock, close to the very sill of the door of death.