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 default on Wikipedia


From Middle English, from Old French defaute (fault, defect, failure, culpability, lack), ultimately from Latin de- (away) + fallo (deceive, cheat, escape notice of)



default (countable and uncountable, plural defaults)

  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.
    • 2011 December 15, Felicity Cloake, “How to cook the perfect nut roast”, in Guardian[1]:
      One of the darlings of the early vegetarian movement (particularly in its even sadder form, the cutlet), it was on the menu at John Harvey Kellogg's Battle Creek Sanitarium [sic], and has since become the default Sunday option for vegetarians – and a default source of derision for everyone else.
  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. (law) 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.
    • (Can we date this quote by Spenser and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      And pardon craved for his so rash default.
    • (Can we date this quote by Alexander Pope and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      regardless of our merit or default

Derived terms[edit]



default (third-person singular simple present defaults, present participle defaulting, simple 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, law) To fail to appear and answer a summons and complaint.

Related terms[edit]





Borrowed from English default.



default m (plural defaults)

  1. (computing) default (original settings)
  2. (computing) default (value used when none has been given)


default (invariable, not comparable)

  1. (computing) being a default setting or value



From English default.


default m (plural defaults)

  1. default