- failure to act; inaction or neglect: They lost their best client by sheer default.
- failure to meet financial obligations.
- Law. failure to perform an act or obligation legally required, especially to appear in court or to plead at a time assigned.
- Sports. failure to arrive in time for, participate in, or complete a scheduled match.
- lack; want; absence.
- Computers. a value that a program or operating system assumes, or a course of action that a program or operating system will take, when the user or programmer specifies no overriding value or action.
- to fail in fulfilling or satisfying an engagement, claim, or obligation.
- to fail to meet financial obligations or to account properly for money in one's care: When he defaulted in his payments, the bank foreclosed on the car.
- Law. to fail to appear in court.
- to fail to participate in or complete a match.
- to lose a match by default.
- to fail to perform or pay: to default a debt.
- to declare to be in default, especially legally: The judge defaulted the defendant.
- to fail to compete in (a scheduled game, race, etc.).
- to lose by default.
- Law. to lose by failure to appear in court.
Origin of default
Examples from the Web for default
Are we all so stuck in our roles that when a given issue comes up, we just default to type?The St. Louis Rams Enter the Ferguson Fray
December 1, 2014
We should expect the default to be civility, not harassment.Hey, Creeps, ‘Compliments’ Are Harassment, Too
November 5, 2014
The typical trend is for writers and actors to default to the crudest element of what makes their show work, and lean on that.It’s OK to Like ‘The Big Bang Theory’
September 23, 2014
Out of the box, the device is set to a default statistical mode, but within a week, the monitor gets more accurate.Are We Turning Our Babies Into Real Life Tamagotchis?
August 7, 2014
There was no threat of default, government shutdown, huge cuts in government spending, or sharp tax increases.How Obamacare Helped Crash the Economy
June 25, 2014
But in default of that, an old one or a story would be welcomed.Ranald Bannerman's Boyhood
She may wish to confess to me in default of the worthy father.Sir Henry Morgan, Buccaneer
Cyrus Townsend Brady
He would have to go home to Anna, and confess that he was beaten by default.Rope
For the default of help she took cold there, and she soon knew that she must die.Stories of King Arthur and His Knights
U. Waldo Cutler
In default of written testimony let us consult monumental evidence.Pagan and Christian Rome
- a failure to act, esp a failure to meet a financial obligation or to appear in a court of law at a time specified
- absence or lack
- by default in the absence of opposition or a better alternativehe became prime minister by default
- in default of through or in the lack or absence of
- judgment by default law a judgment in the plaintiff's favour when the defendant fails to plead or to appear
- lack, want, or need
- (also ˈdiːfɔːlt) computing
- the preset selection of an option offered by a system, which will always be followed except when explicitly altered
- (as modifier)default setting
- (intr; often foll by on or in) to fail to make payment when due
- (intr) to fail to fulfil or perform an obligation, engagement, etcto default in a sporting contest
- law to lose (a case) by failure to appear in court
- (tr) to declare that (someone) is in default
Word Origin and History for default
early 13c., "offense, crime, sin," later (late 13c.) "failure, failure to act," from Old French defaute (12c.) "fault, defect, failure, culpability, lack, privation," from Vulgar Latin *defallita "a deficiency or failure," past participle of *defallere, from Latin de- "away" (see de-) + fallere "to deceive, to cheat; to put wrong, to lead astray, cause to be mistaken; to escape notice of, be concealed from" (see fail (v.)). The financial sense is first recorded 1858; the computing sense is from 1966.
late 14c., "be lacking, be missing," also "become weak," from default (n.). Related: Defaulted; defaulting.
Failure to pay a debt when it is due.
Idioms and Phrases with default
see in default of.