default Definition

  • 1a failure to fulfill an obligation, especially to repay a loan or appear in a court of law
  • 2an option that is selected automatically unless an alternative is specified

Using default: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "default" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    He was sued for defaulting on his loan.

  • Example

    The default setting for the printer is double-sided printing.

  • Example

    If you don't make a selection, the computer will choose the default option.

  • Example

    The company's default policy is to offer a refund within 30 days.

default Synonyms and Antonyms

Phrases with default

  • in the absence of


    In default of a better solution, we'll have to use this one.

  • as a result of not making a choice or taking action


    She became team captain by default when the previous captain resigned.

  • a position or attitude that is taken automatically in the absence of a conscious decision or a compelling reason to adopt another


    His default position is to be skeptical of new ideas.

Origins of default

from Old French 'defaute', meaning 'failure, fault'


Summary: default in Brief

The term 'default' [dɪˈfɔːlt] refers to a failure to fulfill an obligation, such as repaying a loan or appearing in court. It also denotes an option that is automatically selected if no alternative is specified, as in 'The default setting for the printer is double-sided printing.' Phrases like 'in default of' and 'by default' are used to indicate absence of something or automatic outcomes.

How do native speakers use this expression?