verb (used without object)

verb (used with object)

Origin of default

1175–1225; Middle English defau(l)te < Anglo-French defalte, Old French defaute, derivative of defaillir, after faute, faillir. See de-, fault, fail
Related formsnon·de·fault·ing, adjective, nounpre·de·fault, noun, verbun·de·fault·ed, adjectiveun·de·fault·ing, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for defaulted

Contemporary Examples of defaulted

Historical Examples of defaulted

British Dictionary definitions for defaulted



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
  1. the preset selection of an option offered by a system, which will always be followed except when explicitly altered
  2. (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 for default

C13: from Old French defaute, from defaillir to fail, from Vulgar Latin dēfallīre (unattested) to be lacking
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for defaulted



late 14c., "be lacking, be missing," also "become weak," from default (n.). Related: Defaulted; defaulting.



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

defaulted in Culture


Failure to pay a debt when it is due.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with defaulted


see in default of.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.