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

Incidentally, in many European countries, topping the bed with two smaller, separate duvets is the default. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "How to Share a Bed (And Still Sleep Through the Night)," 3 May 2019 Perhaps what has been another one of the show’s greatest magic tricks is making Quentin much more than just that default white male lead. Gabe Bergado, Teen Vogue, ""The Magicians" Finale Just Pulled Off Its Most Heart-wrenching Risk Yet," 18 Apr. 2019 Ceremony’s branding contrasts sharply with that of other jewelry companies, which default to the traditional, heteronormative storyline. Emily Farra, Vogue, "Will 2020 Be the Year the Bridal Market Finally Gets Modern?," 9 Apr. 2019 Even though things are changing, having kids is the default. Alyssa Mastromonaco, Marie Claire, "Alyssa Mastromonaco Explores Her Non-Decision to Not Have Kids," 5 Mar. 2019 Investors just guess future interest rates and the risk of default. Andy Kessler, WSJ, "Stock Picking Is Like Time Travel," 13 Jan. 2019 Playing like a sidekick again Love has been James' sidekick by default since Kyrie Irving had his jealous snit and split. Bill Livingston, cleveland.com, "Cleveland Cavaliers 2018: Kevin Love's all-around play, LeBron James' game-winner save Game 3 -- Bill Livingston (photos)," 6 May 2018 By default, ReLive records at the in-game resolution with a maximum 60 frames per second. Ian Paul, PCWorld, "AMD ReLive review: A stylish video capture tool for Radeon graphics cards," 31 Jan. 2019 And most of those apps are, by default, linked to a Cloud backup. Alexander George, Popular Mechanics, "How to Recover Your Data from a Dead Hard Drive," 17 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Sometimes, that means defaulting away from fairness. Sam Mellinger, kansascity, "On Chiefs star Tyreek Hill, shamed baseball prospect Luke Heimlich, and second chances," 7 June 2018 The company, now in bankruptcy, is accused of defaulting on its contractual obligations, cancelling spring tours for about 5,600 students in at least nine Ohio counties. James Ewinger, cleveland.com, "Trade group drops Discovery Tours for ethics violations," 14 May 2018 More recently, Cohen and his father-in-law lent more than $25 million to a Ukrainian businessman who has a checkered financial record and a history of defaulting on loans. William K. Rashbaum And Danny Hakim, BostonGlobe.com, "How Trump’s fixer Michael Cohen built a shadowy business empire," 5 May 2018 And the number of U.S. retailers at potential risk of defaulting on their debts or seeking bankruptcy court protection continues to grow, according to analysis by rating agency Moody's. David Carrig, USA TODAY, "Retailers filing for bankruptcy or going out of business in 2018," 21 Mar. 2018 The decision to renegotiate the agreement with the developer came after Trustee Paul Tadda pushed for notifying Wimmer that his company had defaulted on the agreement. Tyler Langan, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Falls board agrees to push back Riverwalk completion date, may lower payments to developer," 20 Mar. 2018 But the country has had to pay up to persuade other international investors to lend it money, in part because the Correa government defaulted on $3.2 billion in bonds in 2008 and later bought most of them back at 35 cents on the dollar. Ryan Dube, WSJ, "IMF, Development Banks Agree to $10.2 Billion Bailout for Ecuador," 21 Feb. 2019 The Vietnam War was sputtering to an end and McDonnell Douglas Aircraft, then America’s largest manufacturer of jet airplanes, had defaulted on a contract involving the delivery of 99 jets to Eastern Airlines. Tarpley Hitt, miamiherald, "Could your next lawyer be a robot? Tech firms making case for artificial intelligence | Miami Herald," 18 Apr. 2018 Chrome started deprecating Flash in 2016, defaulting to HTML5 features and requiring Flash to be enabled on a per-site basis. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Chrome 69 will take the next step to killing Flash, roll out new design," 21 Aug. 2018

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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Learn More about default

Dictionary Entries near default

defang

defassa

defat

default

defaunate

DEFCON

defeasance

Statistics for default

Last Updated

22 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for default

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

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More Definitions for default

default

noun

Financial Definition of default

What It Is

A default is a violation of a promise to pay debt in agreed amounts at agreed times.

How It Works

Let's assume Company XYZ has a line of credit for $10 million from Bank ABC, and $5 million of that line is outstanding. Company XYZ must make a $25,000 monthly payment on the outstanding debt every month.

Company XYZ is having trouble with the launch of its new product and is dealing with a recall on four of its other products. Sales dropped 75% and cash flow dried up, making it hard to make the debt payments. For a few months, Company XYZ makes late payments, and then after six months it stops making payments altogether. Bank ABC declares Company XYZ in default and demands immediate repayment of the $5 million outstanding principal.

This of course is very hard for Company XYZ to handle, and Bank ABC begins the process of seizing the collateral that secured the debt. Without these assets (let's say they're machinery), Company XYZ cannot continue production and thus closes its doors.

In general, there are six events involved in a default (in this example, we assume the borrower has obtained a mortgage for a house from the lender).

1. The borrower signs a contract agreeing to repay the lender over a period of time, usually in predetermined installments.
2. The borrower misses one or more payments.
3. The lender sends the borrower one or more notices of delinquency.
4. The borrower and the lender try to adjust the repayment schedule so that the borrower is more likely to make at least some of the payments until he or she gets back on his feet. (This process is called special forbearance or mortgage modification.)
5. The borrower still misses payments.
6. The lender sends the borrower a notice of default and initiates foreclosure proceedings.

Why It Matters

Defaults are serious matters, and they are far more serious than simply being overdue in a payment (though this can trigger a lender to declare default). Foreclosure occurs when a lender seizes and sells a borrower's collateral when the borrower has failed to repay the lender. The term is most often associated with real estate.

Defaults do long-term damage to a person's credit report and can hinder a company's ability to raise capital in the future. It is important to note that foreclosure laws vary by state, and they affect the order or duration of these steps. It is also important to note that the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act affects foreclosure proceedings by stipulating the methods lenders can use to go after bad debts.

Default risk is the chance that a bond issuer will not make the required coupon payments or principal repayment to bondholders. Many things can influence an issuer's default risk and in varying degrees. Examples include poor or falling cash flow from operations (which is often needed to make the interest and principal payments), rising interest rates (if the bonds are floating-rate notes, rising interest rates increase the required interest payments), or changes in the nature of the marketplace that would adversely affect the issuer (such as a change in technology, an increase in competitors or regulatory changes). The default risk associated with foreign bonds also includes the home country's sociopolitical situation and the stability and regulatory activity of its government.

Source: Investing Answers

default

noun

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.

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on default

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with default

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for default

Spanish Central: Translation of default

Nglish: Translation of default for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of default for Arabic Speakers

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