American English

Definition of default noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[uncountable, countable] failure to do something that must be done by law, especially paying a debt The company is in default on the loan. Mortgage defaults have risen in the last year.
  2. 2[uncountable, countable, usually singular] (computing) what happens or appears if you do not make any other choice or change The default option is to save your work every five minutes. On this screen, 256 colors is the default.
  3. Idioms
    1. 1a game or competition can be won by default if there are no other people, teams, etc. taking part He became world champion in 2007 by default.
    2. 2if something happens by default, it happens because you have not made any other decision or choice that would make things happen in a different way I became a teacher by default rather than by design.
    in default of something (formal)
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    because of a lack of something They accepted what he had said in default of any evidence to disprove it.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: default

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