WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2019
de•fault /dɪˈfɔlt/USA pronunciation   n. [uncountable]
  1. failure to act, esp. failure to pay one's debts:to face financial default.
  2. Sportfailure to appear for or complete a match:progressed into the finals because of his opponent's default.
  3. Computinga preset value that a computer system assumes or an action that it takes unless it is otherwise instructed:When you start your computer from the A drive, then that is the default for later disk operations.

  1. [no obj] to fail to pay, perform a duty, etc.:The bank had defaulted on that loan.
  2. Sportto fail to compete in (a contest);
    to lose by default: [no obj]:He defaulted and left the tournament.[ + obj]:He defaulted the match and left in disgust.
  1. Idiomsin default of, for lack of;
    in the absence of:In default of a workable plan they decided to proceed on a day-to-day basis.

de•fault•er, n. [countable]

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2019
de•fault  (di fôlt),USA pronunciation n. 
  1. failure to act;
    inaction or neglect:They lost their best client by sheer default.
  2. failure to meet financial obligations.
  3. Lawfailure to perform an act or obligation legally required, esp. to appear in court or to plead at a time assigned.
  4. Sportfailure to arrive in time for, participate in, or complete a scheduled match.
  5. lack;
  6. Computinga value that a program or operating system assumes, or a course of action that a program or operating system will take, when the user or programmer specifies no overriding value or action.

  1. to fail in fulfilling or satisfying an engagement, claim, or obligation.
  2. to fail to meet financial obligations or to account properly for money in one's care:When he defaulted in his payments, the bank foreclosed on the car.
  3. Lawto fail to appear in court.
  4. Sport
    • to fail to participate in or complete a match.
    • to lose a match by default.

  1. to fail to perform or pay:to default a debt.
  2. to declare to be in default, esp. legally:The judge defaulted the defendant.
  3. Sport
    • to fail to compete in (a scheduled game, race, etc.).
    • to lose by default.
  4. Lawto lose by failure to appear in court.
  • Anglo-French defalte, Old French defaute, derivative of defaillir, after faute, faillir. See de-, fault, fail
  • Middle English defau(l)te 1175–1225

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

default /dɪˈfɔːlt/ n
  1. a failure to act, esp a failure to meet a financial obligation or to appear in a court of law at a time specified
  2. absence or lack
  3. by defaultin the absence of opposition or a better alternative: he became prime minister by default
  4. in default ofthrough or in the lack or absence of
  5. judgment by defaulta judgment in the plaintiff's favour when the defendant fails to plead or to appear
  6. /(also) ˈdiːfɔːlt/ the preset selection of an option offered by a system, which will always be followed except when explicitly altered
  7. (as modifier): default setting
  1. (intr; often followed by on or in) to fail to make payment when due
  2. (intransitive) to fail to fulfil or perform an obligation, engagement, etc: to default in a sporting contest
  3. to lose (a case) by failure to appear in court
Etymology: 13th Century: from Old French defaute, from defaillir to fail, from Vulgar Latin dēfallīre (unattested) to be lacking

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