default

noun
de·​fault | \ di-ˈfȯlt How to pronounce default (audio) , dē-; ˈdē-ˌfȯlt \

Definition of default

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : failure to do something required by duty or law : neglect
2 archaic : fault
3 economics : a failure to pay financial debts was in default on her loan mortgage defaults
4a law : failure to appear at the required time in a legal proceeding The defendant is in default.
b : failure to compete in or to finish an appointed contest lost the game by default
5a : a selection made usually automatically or without active consideration due to lack of a viable alternative remained the club's president by default the default candidate
b computers : a selection automatically used by a program in the absence of a choice made by the user using the default settings
in default of
: in the absence of

default

verb
defaulted; defaulting; defaults

Definition of default (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to fail to fulfill a contract, agreement, or duty: such as
a : to fail to meet a financial obligation default on a loan
b law : to fail to appear in court
c : to fail to compete in or to finish an appointed contest also : to forfeit a contest by such failure
2 computers : to make a selection automatically in the absence of a choice made by the user The program defaults to a standard font.

transitive verb

1 : to fail to perform, pay, or make good default a loan
2a : forfeit defaulted the game
b : to exclude (a player or a team) from a contest by default was defaulted from the tournament

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Other Words from default

Verb

defaulter noun

Examples of default in a Sentence

Noun The defendant has made no appearance in the case and is in default. You can enter your own settings or use the defaults. Which font is the default in that computer program? Verb If the borrower defaults, the bank can take the house. The program defaults to a standard font.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The states’ suit also repeats some allegations made in the Justice Department case, such as an accusation that Google foreclosed competition through a deal with Apple Inc. AAPL 0.70% to make Google the default search engine on iPhones. Ryan Tracy, WSJ, "More States Hit Google Over Alleged Monopoly Conduct," 17 Dec. 2020 The deal ensures that Google is the default search engine for Apple’s iOS devices. Popular Science, "Could Apple build a search engine that competes with Google?," 15 Dec. 2020 The case alleges that Google uses billions of dollars collected from advertisers to pay phone manufacturers to ensure Google is the default search engine on browsers. Winston Gieseke, USA TODAY, "In California: More EDD fraud shenanigans. And travel restrictions explained," 12 Dec. 2020 The suit claims that the company blocks rivals by paying device manufacturers to make Google their default search engine. Eoin O'carroll, The Christian Science Monitor, "Why Big Tech faces rising pressure in Congress and courts," 19 Nov. 2020 Google argues it‘s easy for consumers to change their default search engine and people choose Google because it‘s the best. Gerrit De Vynck, Bloomberg.com, "Google to Employees: Don’t ‘Get Distracted’ by Antitrust Case," 31 Oct. 2020 Apple reaps up to $12 billion a year in revenue from Google, which pays the iPhone maker to be the default search engine on Apple devices. Washington Post, "Apple could lose the billions its gets from Google, but Wall Street sees a rosy future in Cupertino," 29 Oct. 2020 The cost to Apple of presetting a default search engine is negligible, just a few lines of code. Hemant K. Bhargava, The Conversation, "Google antitrust case suggests Apple should be in the Department of Justice’s crosshairs too," 29 Oct. 2020 In 2005, Apple and Google inked what at the time seemed like a modest deal: Google would be the default search engine on Apple’s Safari browser on Mac computers. Jack Nicas, New York Times, "Apple, Google and a Deal That Controls the Internet," 25 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Without an accord, the U.K. will default to trading with the EU on World Trade Organization terms, with the imposition of costly tariffs and quotas, and the threat of more tailbacks at ports as haulers cope with new bureaucracy. Alex Morales, Bloomberg.com, "Isolated U.K. Seeks to Reopen Trade Route After Days of Chaos," 21 Dec. 2020 Families who don’t respond would default to the remote-only option. Steve Schering, chicagotribune.com, "Oak Park Dist. 97 approves return-to-school plan; families must decide to opt in by Jan. 6," 17 Dec. 2020 After an ignition cycle, the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) does not automatically default back to the full-function original mode if the Handling Mode is selected on the Drive Mode switch. USA TODAY, "Car recalls for December 3-10," 11 Dec. 2020 After an ignition cycle, the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) does not automatically default back to the full-function original mode if the Handling Mode is selected on the Drive Mode switch. Detroit Free Press, "Car recalls for Dec. 3-10: More than 400K vehicles from Kia, Hyundai recalled," 11 Dec. 2020 Its trading relationship with its biggest trading partner would default to World Trade Organization rules, meaning overnight tariffs and quotas that would hit both sides, clogging ports and supply chains. Washington Post, "Can a Supper Summit resolve Brexit at last? U.K.'s Boris Johnson heads to Brussels.," 9 Dec. 2020 The story of the last two decades in e-commerce has been, to a large extent, the story of Amazon’s rise, from humble reseller of books to default shopping destination and computing engine of the internet. New York Times, "Can Shopify Compete with Amazon Without Becoming Amazon?," 17 Nov. 2020 With no lexicon to default to, people with friendships like West and Tillotson’s have assembled a collage of relationship language. Rhaina Cohen, The Atlantic, "When a Friend Is Your Life Partner," 20 Oct. 2020 But more companies will probably default because government aid programs, including the suspension of insolvency requirements in Germany, will come to an end. Nicholas Comfort, Bloomberg.com, "Deutsche Bank Sees More Insolvencies, Less Provisions Next Year," 20 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'default.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of default

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for default

Noun and Verb

Middle English defaute, defaulte, from Anglo-French, from defaillir to be lacking, fail, from de- + faillir to fail

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Time Traveler for default

Time Traveler

The first known use of default was in the 14th century

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Statistics for default

Last Updated

22 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Default.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/default. Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for default

default

noun
How to pronounce default (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of default

 (Entry 1 of 2)

used to describe something that happens or is done when nothing else has been done or can be done usually used in the phrase by default sometimes used before another noun
: a failure to make a payment (such as a payment on a loan)
law : failure to appear in court

default

verb

English Language Learners Definition of default (Entry 2 of 2)

: to fail to do something that legally must be done especially : to fail to make the payments you must make on a loan, mortgage, etc.
of a computer : to automatically use a particular setting, option, etc., unless you choose a different one

default

noun
de·​fault | \ di-ˈfȯlt How to pronounce default (audio) \

Kids Definition of default

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: failure to do something especially that is required by law or duty If we miss the game, we'll lose by default.

default

verb
defaulted; defaulting

Kids Definition of default (Entry 2 of 2)

: to fail to do something required He defaulted on repaying the money.

default

noun
de·​fault | \ di-ˈfȯlt, ˈdē-ˌfȯlt How to pronounce default (audio) \

Legal Definition of default

1 : failure to do something required by duty (as under a contract or by law): as
a : failure to comply with the terms of a loan agreement or security agreement especially with regard to payment of the debt
b in the civil law of Louisiana : a delay in performing under a contract that is recognized by the other party

Note: A party whose performance under a contract is delayed is not automatically in default. Rather, the law of Louisiana requires that the other party “put him or her in default” by a written or witnessed oral request for performance, by filing suit, or by invoking a specific provision in the contract. Moratory damages may be recoverable for loss caused by the delay.

2 : failure to defend against a claim in court (as by failing to file pleadings or to appear in court) — see also default judgment at judgment sense 1a
in default
: in the condition of having defaulted

Other Words from default

default verb
defaulter noun

History and Etymology for default

Anglo-French defalte defaute lack, fault, failure to answer a summons, from defaillir to be lacking, fail, from de-, intensive prefix + faillir to fail

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