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 One aspect that the current conversation around regulation and enforcement seems to overlook is that, by default, blockchain and cryptoassets are a truly global sector and are not tethered to any one specific geographic or jurisdictional area. Sean Stein Smith, Forbes, 14 Sep. 2021 By default, you’re taught how to look, listen, and observe, whom to watch and whom not to watch. Vinson Cunningham, The New Yorker, 12 Sep. 2021 Since 2016, the messaging platform has enabled end-to-end encryption—by default, no less—for its billions of users. Brian Barrett, Wired, 10 Sep. 2021 Kicker Chase McLaughlin may have won the kicking competition by default when Cody Parkey injured his quad prior to the preseason game against the Giants, but special teams coordinator Mike Priefer doesn’t see it that way. Dan Labbe, cleveland, 9 Sep. 2021 Within the version of the Edge browser that ships with Windows 11, sleeping tabs will be on by default. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, 9 Sep. 2021 As of June 2020, Google auto-deletes account records after 18 months by default. Kim Komando, USA TODAY, 9 Sep. 2021 The case also includes wireless charging by default. Jacob Siegal, BGR, 8 Sep. 2021 Those deals will start Sept 17, and for some of the specials, customers will have to mention ‘health and wellness week’ in order to receive discounts, but most businesses will offer them by default. Zareen Syed, chicagotribune.com, 7 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But that doesn’t mean those of us who want fairer maps should give up and default to doing things the way they’ve been done for the past 30 years. Robert Gehrke, The Salt Lake Tribune, 30 Aug. 2021 At the beginning of August, the Microsoft announced that Power Apps portals will now default to storing API data and other information privately. Lily Hay Newman, Wired, 23 Aug. 2021 This suggests student loan forgiveness should be targeted to those with low incomes, who typically have less than $10,000 in student loan debt but are more likely to default on those loans. William Chittenden, The Conversation, 22 July 2021 Black students borrow more money on average than their white peers for the same degrees and are more likely to default or face struggles paying back their debt. Michael Arceneaux, Essence, 28 June 2021 Black borrowers are more likely to default on their student loans. Mark Kantrowitz, Forbes, 15 June 2021 Portland Public Schools appears to be the only major district in the metro area that plans to default to outdoor lunches. oregonlive, 25 Aug. 2021 Montenegro made its first payment on the Chinese loan last month and, Mr. Spajic said, will not default. New York Times, 14 Aug. 2021 Montenegro made its first payment on the Chinese loan last month and, Spajic said, will not default. BostonGlobe.com, 14 Aug. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near default

defat

default

defaunate

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Statistics for default

Last Updated

19 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Default.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/default. Accessed 20 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for default

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)
: 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.
: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on default

Nglish: Translation of default for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of default for Arabic Speakers

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