• (RP):
    • (noun) IPA: /dɪˈfɔːlt/, /ˈdiːˌfɔːlt/
    • (verb) IPA: /dɪˈfɔːlt/
  • (America), (cot-caught):
    • (noun) IPA: /dɪˈfɑlt/, /ˈdiːˌfɑlt/
    • (verb) IPA: /dɪˈfɑlt/


  1. (finance) The condition of failing to meet an obligation.
    He failed to make payments on time and is now in default.
    You may cure this default by paying the full amount within a week.
  2. (electronics, computing) the original software programming settings as set by the factory
  3. A loss incurred by failing to compete.
    The team's three losses include one default.
  4. A selection made in the absence of an alternative.
    The man became the leader of the group as a default.
  5. (often, attributive) A value used when none has been given; a tentative value or standard that is presumed.
    If you don't specify a number of items, the default is 1.
  6. (legal) The failure of a defendant to appear and answer a summons and complaint.
  7. (obsolete) A failing or failure; omission of that which ought to be done; neglect to do what duty or law requires.
    This evil has happened through the governor's default.
  8. (obsolete) Lack; absence.
    • 1820, Charles Maturin, Melmoth the Wanderer, volume 1, page 156:
      one was dragging a great coat from the window, before which it had long hung as a blind, in total default of glass or shutters
  9. (obsolete) Fault; offence; wrong act.
    • And pardon craved for his so rash default.
    • 1728, [Alexander Pope], “(please specify )”, in The Dunciad. An Heroic Poem. In Three Books, Dublin; London: Reprinted for A. Dodd, OCLC 1033416756 ↗:
Translations Translations Translations
  • German: Standard, Ausgangswert, Standardwert
  • Italian: predefinito
  • Portuguese: default, valor predefinido, valor padrão
  • Russian: значе́ние по умолча́нию
  • Spanish: predeterminado
  • German: Versäumnis, Leistungsstörung, Nichterscheinen

default (defaults, present participle defaulting; past and past participle defaulted)

  1. (intransitive) To fail to meet an obligation.
    If you do not make your payments, you will default on your loan.
  2. (intransitive) To lose a competition by failing to compete.
    If you refuse to wear a proper uniform, you will not be allowed to compete and will default this match.
  3. (intransitive, computing) To assume a value when none was given; to presume a tentative value or standard.
    If you don't specify a number of items, it defaults to 1.
  4. (intransitive, legal) To fail to appear and answer a summons and complaint.
Related terms Translations
  • Portuguese: predeterminar

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