Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology Cite this entry

TRILAPSE, adj., n. Also trelapse, treelaps.

I. adj. Of an offence against morals or church discipline: occurring or repeated for the third time. Gall. 1705–21 Session Bk. Minnigaff (1939) 159, 380:
The Session, considering this to be a trelaps fornication, . . . In order to receive his sentance for his treelaps fornication.

II. n. A third offence against church discipline, esp. in regard to fornication. Hence trilapser, one guilty of this. Hist. Wgt. 1703 Session Bk. Glasserton MS. (19 Dec.):
To appear before this congregation in the habit of sackcloath, she being guilty of a trelapse into fornication.
Sc. 1709 W. Steuart Collections iii xi. § 11:
Fornicators are to make profession of their repentance three several Sabbaths; who are guilty of a relapse therein, six Sabbaths; who are guilty of a trilapse, twenty-six Sabbaths.
Kcd. 1751 G. A. Henderson Kirk of St Ternan (1962) 129:
John Welsh guilty of Trilapse in fornication.
Ayr. 1869 Maybole West Ch. Session Rec. MS. (10 Jan.):
This being a case of trilapse for A. D., her case was sent up to the Presbytery.
Abd. 1877 W. Alexander Rural Life 201:
Concerning a woman who was a “trelapser”.

[O.Sc. trelaps, thrice guilty, 1574, a third offence, 1608, ad. Lat. tri-lapsus, adj., = I., trilapsum, = II.]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Trilapse adj., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 11 Apr 2021 <>



Try an Advanced Search

Browse SND: