verb (used without object)
- to fail to participate in or complete a scheduled game, race, etc.
- to lose a scheduled game, race, etc., by default.
verb (used with object)
- to fail to compete in (a scheduled game, race, etc.).
- to lose by default.
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Idioms for default
Origin of default
OTHER WORDS FROM defaultnon·de·fault·ing, adjective, nounpre·de·fault, noun, verbun·de·fault·ed, adjectiveun·de·fault·ing, adjective
Words nearby default
What does default mean in loans?
Default is the failure to meet one’s financial obligations, for example, when a borrower misses or stops making monthly loan payments. Default on a loan can make it difficult to get loans in the future and may have other serious consequences.
If a person defaults on a home mortgage, the bank may foreclose on the loan and take over ownership of the property, to sell it in order to recoup as much of the unpaid portion of the loan as possible.
The term not only applies to individuals, but also to businesses and governments that cannot pay back their debts.
Default can also mean failure to account properly for money in one’s care.
Examples of default in a sentence
“Borrowers pay interest to lenders to compensate them for the use of borrowed funds, and as a safeguard against the borrower defaulting on the loan.”
—”What Is A Good Interest Rate?” Rocket Loans. Retrieved March 15, 2020.
“You may qualify for some types of credit or loan approvals using a co-signer or someone close to you who guarantees they will be legally responsible for paying back your debt if you default on the loan or cannot make payments.”
—”Bad Credit Is Scary: 5 Quick Strategies To Improve Your Credit Score” Rocket Loans. Retrieved March 15, 2020.
“Residential mortgage default is a complex event triggered by a host of household and socio-economic events. The recent collapse of the subprime market, coupled with the imposing downturn in the housing and broader economic markets has resulted in a rapidly expanding rate of mortgage defaults, many of which end in foreclosure and REO [real estate owned, that is, by the lender].”
—Allen C. Goodman and Brent C. Smith, “Housing Defaults: Theory Works and so Does Policy,” Introduction, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Diane Publishing: 2010.
What does default mean?
As a verb, default most commonly means to fail to make a payment, especially on a loan.
It is also commonly used to refer to original, preset options, such as the default settings of a device or app.
Default has many meanings, but most of them involve the absence of something, such as a better alternative (especially in the phrase by default), or a failure to do something, such as make a payment or appear in court. When someone fails to make a payment on a mortgage or other loan, they are said to be in default.
Example: There are no other candidates in the race, so he was declared the winner by default.
Where does default come from?
Default has been in use since around the 1200s. It comes from the Old French defaute, from the verb defaillir, meaning “to fail.” Defaillir derives from the Vulgar Latin dēfallīre, “to be lacking.” This is a good reminder that default typically refers to failing to do something or something that’s lacking.
When used in a financial context, default refers to a failure to pay back a loan, as in We’re going to default on our mortgage if we can’t make the payment by the end of the month. When this happens, a person is said to be in default. Less commonly, default can refer to losing a court case by failing to appear. The same meaning is sometimes used in sports, but the word forfeit is a more common way to say this.
The other common meaning of default has to do with the absence of something. When you fill out a form, it often has default responses that you can change—or leave as they are. When you get a new phone, it comes with default settings, meaning the preset, “factory settings” that you can then change and customize based on your preferences. Relatedly, default is used as a noun in the context of software to refer to a preset option or command that will be followed unless it is changed, as in please don’t alter the system defaults. Software will default (revert) to the defaults (presets) in default of (in the absence of) other options. The phrase in default of is commonly used in many contexts to refer to the absence of something, such as in the sentence In default of proper evidence, we could not charge the suspect with a crime.
One of the most common uses of default is in the phrase by default, which means “in the absence of other options or better alternatives,” as in We have no other entries, so it looks like this one will win by default. It can also mean something like “as a natural or normal state,” as in I’m a calm person by default, so I don’t often get upset or angry.
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What are some other forms of default?
- nondefaulting (adjective, noun)
- predefault (noun, verb)
- undefaulted (adjective)
- undefaulting (adjective)
What are some synonyms for default?
What are some words that share a root or word element with default?
What are some words that often get used in discussing default?
How is default used in real life?
Default is commonly used in the context of loans, mortgages, device presets, forms, and software. It is especially used in phrases like by default, in default, and in default of.
Realizing lately how easy it is to use they/them pronouns as a default to ensure folks feel comfortable. I’m not perfect but it gets easier everyday. Just saying.
— Roger Harvey (@xorogerharvey) March 5, 2020
Heroes born with a special power/heritage can be interesting, but it shouldn’t be every character’s default origin. https://t.co/Uoma7ASx7R
— Michael Terracciano (@mookiebean) March 5, 2020
"Philippa King, spokesperson for @DeHavilland said the company had filed a $42.9 million lawsuit for damages stemming from cancelled purchase agreements after @FlySpiceJet failed to take delivery of 19 aircraft and defaulted on several payments."
— Tarun Shukla (@shukla_tarun) March 19, 2020
Try using default!
Is default used correctly in the following sentence?
I reverted my phone to the factory presets and now I have to change all the default settings again.
Example sentences from the Web for default
Wherever possible, work from home should still be the default while we try to contain the virus.I’m a physician and a CEO. Why I won’t bring my employees back to the office before Labor Day 2021|matthewheimer|August 26, 2020|Fortune
Elsewhere, mobile browsers including UC Browser, Brave, Opera Mini and Adblock Browser block ads by default.‘The inevitable maturation of the industry’: Desktop ad blocking is past its peak|Lara O'Reilly|August 20, 2020|Digiday
Rich results are the details that appear in addition to the default blue links and text descriptions.
The only two options were nofollow links or dofollow links, the latter being the default for all hyperlinks.
What is less known though, is that Google updated the default segment “Performed Site Search” from “sessions” to “users” not long ago.Eight great tips for internal site search optimization|Marco Bonomo|June 18, 2020|Search Engine Watch
Are we all so stuck in our roles that when a given issue comes up, we just default to type?
We should expect the default to be civility, not harassment.
The typical trend is for writers and actors to default to the crudest element of what makes their show work, and lean on that.
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?|Brandy Zadrozny|August 7, 2014|DAILY BEAST
There was no threat of default, government shutdown, huge cuts in government spending, or sharp tax increases.
In default of both, I expect to go to jail, and I am ready to start upon one moment's warning.Portrait and Biography of Parson Brownlow, The Tennessee Patriot|William Gannaway Brownlow
In default of the usual bazaars OLeary had returned with the spoils of half a dozen pawn-shops.The Woman Gives|Owen Johnson
I hitched the horse to my improvised drag and smoothed it again, several times, in default of a roller.The Idyl of Twin Fires|Walter Prichard Eaton
Before the letters arrived in London, a default had already been recorded.The Loyalists of America and Their Times, Vol. 1 of 2|Egerton Ryerson
He was perpetually giving an account of it to his own soul in default of other listeners.The Tragic Muse|Henry James
British Dictionary definitions for default
- the preset selection of an option offered by a system, which will always be followed except when explicitly altered
- (as modifier)default setting
Word Origin for default
Cultural definitions for default
Failure to pay a debt when it is due.
Idioms and Phrases with default
see in default of.