Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “default”

See all translations

default

verb [I] uk   /dɪˈfɒlt/ us    /-ˈfɑːlt/
to fail to do something, such as pay a debt, that you legally have to do: People who default on their mortgage repayments may have their home repossessed.
Phrasal verbs

default

noun uk   /dɪˈfɒlt/ /ˈdiː.fɒlt/ us    /-ˈfɑːlt/

default noun (RESULT)

[U] the thing that exists or happens if you do not change it intentionally by performing an action: Unless something else is agreed, the default is to meet at the hotel at 7.00 p.m. The computer will take 0 as the default value, unless you type in something different. formal In default of (= because there is not) any better alternative, we will have to proceed with the original plan.

default noun (FAIL)

[C or U] a failure to do something, such as pay a debt, that you legally have to do: Defaults on loan repayments have reached 52,000 a month. Any default on your mortgage payments may mean you will lose your house. Since they refuse to reply, I think we've won the argument by default (= because of their failure to act). The national student loan default rate (= the number of people failing to pay) is estimated at one in ten.
(Definition of default from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of default?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “default” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

exercise

physical activity that you do to make your body strong and healthy

Word of the Day

Byronic, Orwellian and Darwinian: adjectives from names.

by Liz Walter,
April 15, 2015
Becoming an adjective is a strange kind of memorial, but it is often a sign of a person having had real influence on the world. Science is full of examples, from Hippocrates, the Greek medic born around 460 BC, who gave his name to the Hippocratic Oath still used by doctors today,

Read More 

bio-inspiration noun

April 13, 2015
the adoption of patterns and structures found in nature for the purposes of engineering, manufacturing, science, etc. The MIT researchers actually aren’t the only robotics team to turn to cheetahs for bio-inspiration.

Read More