Meaning of “default” in the English Dictionary

"default" in English

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defaultverb [ I ]

uk /dɪˈfɒlt/ us /dɪˈfɑːlt/


uk /dɪˈfɒlt/ /ˈdiː.fɒlt/ us /dɪˈfɑːlt/

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 Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"default" in American English

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defaultverb [ I ]

us /dɪˈfɔlt/

to fail to do something, such as pay a debt, that you legally have to do:

The company defaulted on a $133 million loan.

default noun (FAILURE TO DO)

us /dɪˈfɔlt, ˈdi·fɔlt/ [ C/U ] a failure to do something that you legally have to do, such as pay a debt:

[ C ] Defaults rose to 4 percent of all the bank’s loans.

us /dɪˈfɔlt, ˈdi·fɔlt/ [ C/U ] In sports, to win or lose by default is to win or lose because one side did not compete:

[ U ] Humphrey never showed up, so Wilson won by default.

default noun (STANDARD SETTING)

us /ˈdi·fɔlt, dɪˈfɔlt/ [ U ] a standard setting esp. of computer software, such as of type size or style:

The default color of text on the screen is black.

(Definition of “default” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"default" in Business English

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defaultnoun [ C or U ]

uk /dɪˈfɔːlt/ us

FINANCE the fact of not paying interest or other money that is owed on time:

Many experts say a default would raise interest rates in the future because the government would be seen as a higher-risk borrower.
Any default on the interest payments will have serious consequences.
Creditors are frequently obliged to terminate the consumer credit agreement because the debtor is in default.

LAW the fact of not keeping to an agreement or contract:

There will be a joint government review of the agreement if there is any default.

IT the way that something will happen or appear automatically, especially on a computer, if you do not make any different choices:

Checking this box means that your computer will now use this printer as the default.
The default is to provide a statement monthly.
This is the default setting, but you can change it by going to the Options menu.
We recommend using the defaults that are already set.
by default

happening or done because no formal choice or decision has been made:

The fear was that unless IAS was adopted, US accounting principles would become the world standard by default.

defaultverb [ I ]

uk /dɪˈfɔːlt/ us

FINANCE to fail to pay interest or other money that is owed:

default on a payment/a mortgage/your rent If a company defaults on its rent, another tenant can be found.
I have never defaulted or been late with previous payments.

LAW to fail to keep to an agreement or contract:

default on an agreement/a contract They claimed that education providers had defaulted on their agreement with students to provide a course.

IT to happen or appear automatically in a particular way, if a user does not make a different choice:

If you do not enter a value it will default to a delay of 20 seconds.

(Definition of “default” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)