What does default mean?

Definitions for default

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word default.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. defaultnoun

    loss due to not showing up

    "he lost the game by default"

  2. default, nonpayment, nonremittalnoun

    act of failing to meet a financial obligation

  3. nonpayment, default, nonremittalnoun

    loss resulting from failure of a debt to be paid

  4. default option, defaultverb

    an option that is selected automatically unless an alternative is specified

  5. default, default onverb

    fail to pay up


  1. defaultnoun

    The condition of failing to meet an obligation.

  2. defaultnoun

    the original software programming settings as set by the factory

  3. defaultnoun

    A loss incurred by failing to compete.

    The team's three losses include one default.

  4. defaultnoun

    A selection made in the absence of an alternative.

    The man became the leader of the group as a default.

  5. defaultnoun

    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. defaultnoun

    The failure of a defendant to appear and answer a summons and complaint.

  7. defaultverb

    To fail to meet an obligation.

    If you do not make your payments, you will default on your loan.

  8. defaultverb

    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.

  9. defaultverb

    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.

  10. defaultverb

    To fail to appear and answer a summons and complaint.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. DEFAULTnoun

    Etymology: defaut, French.

    Sedition tumbled into England more by the default of governours than the peoples. Haywood.

    We that know what ’tis to fast and pray,
    Are penitent for your default to-day. William Shakespeare, Com. of Errours.

    Let me not rashly call in doubt
    Divine prediction: what if all foretold
    Had been fulfill’d, but through mine own default,
    Whom have I to complain of, but myself? John Milton, Agonistes.

    Partial judges we are of our own excellencies, and other mens defaults. Jonathan Swift.

    In default of the king’s pay, the forces were laid upon the subject. John Davies, on Ireland.

    Cooks could make artificial birds and fishes, in default of the real ones. John Arbuthnot, on Coins.

  2. To Defaultverb

    To fail in performing any contract or stipulation; to forfeit by breaking a contract.

    Etymology: from the noun.


  1. Default

    Default is a 2012 single by the English supergroup Atoms for Peace. It was released as a digital download on 10 September 2012 and on 12" vinyl on 4 December 2012. This was the first non-remixed track released by the band and featured on their debut album, Amok.


  1. default

    Default typically refers to the failure to fulfill an obligation, especially to repay a loan or appear in a court of law. It can also represent a pre-selected option adopted by a computer program or other mechanism when no alternative is specified by the user or programmer.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Defaultnoun

    a failing or failure; omission of that which ought to be done; neglect to do what duty or law requires; as, this evil has happened through the governor's default

  2. Defaultnoun

    fault; offense; ill deed; wrong act; failure in virtue or wisdom

  3. Defaultnoun

    a neglect of, or failure to take, some step necessary to secure the benefit of law, as a failure to appear in court at a day assigned, especially of the defendant in a suit when called to make answer; also of jurors, witnesses, etc

  4. Defaultverb

    to fail in duty; to offend

  5. Defaultverb

    to fail in fulfilling a contract, agreement, or duty

  6. Defaultverb

    to fail to appear in court; to let a case go by default

  7. Defaultverb

    to fail to perform or pay; to be guilty of neglect of; to omit; as, to default a dividend

  8. Defaultverb

    to call a defendant or other party whose duty it is to be present in court, and make entry of his default, if he fails to appear; to enter a default against

  9. Defaultverb

    to leave out of account; to omit

  10. Etymology: [OE. defaute, OF. defaute, defalte, fem., F. dfaut, masc., LL. defalta, fr. a verb meaning, to be deficient, to want, fail, fr. L. de- + fallere to deceive. See Fault.]


  1. Default

    Default is a Canadian post-grunge band from Vancouver, British Columbia. Since forming in 1999 they have released four albums, and have sold more than a million records. The majority of their fan base is in Canada, but they gained popularity in the United States for their hit singles "Wasting My Time" and "Deny".

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Default

    de-fawlt′, n. a fault, failing, or failure: defect: neglect to do what duty or law requires: failure to account for money entrusted to one's charge: offence.—v.i. to fail through neglect of duty: to fail to appear in court when called upon.—n. Default′er, one who fails to appear in court, or to account for money entrusted to his care, or to settle a debt of honour.—Judgment by default, judgment given against a person because he fails to plead or make an appearance in court. [O. Fr. defaute and defaultde = L. dis, apart, and faute.]

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. default

    A military offense, in the British service, is so called.

Suggested Resources

  1. default

    Song lyrics by default -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by default on the Lyrics.com website.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'default' in Nouns Frequency: #2941

How to pronounce default?

How to say default in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of default in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of default in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of default in a Sentence

  1. Phil Trieb:

    [I]f we won’t choose to pay the price of liberty, then by default we shall suffer the cost of servitude -- whether it be the iron chains of a tyrannical oligarchy or the regulatory chains of unelected, faceless bureaucrats. When we witness our neighbors abused by tyrants, will we skulk away and hope we’re not next? Or will we stand by them and challenge -- as freedom-loving Americans -- the tyranny of lawless leaders.

  2. Ayn Rand, Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, 1966:

    The spread of evil is the symptom of a vacuum. whenever evil wins, it is only by default: by the moral failure of those who evade the fact that there can be no compromise on basic principles.

  3. Steve Barrow:

    The significance of any Greek default at this juncture is that the negative psyche that results will mix with the trepidation that's already out there over the global financial cycle, hence, we'd see default as a pretty traumatic event for the markets, even if many seem to doubt this right now.

  4. Ayn Rand:

    The spread of evil is the symptom of a vacuum. whenever evil wins, it is only by default by the moral failure of those who evade the fact that there can be no compromise on basic principles.

  5. Trey Parker:

    Regardless of whether or not we see an uptick in the default rate in energy loans, energy credit is only 3.5% to 4% of the overall loan market, so even if you had a 25% default rate in all energy loans, it would only be about a 1% uptick in the overall loan market default rate, we believe the loan and high-yield markets have already priced in a lot of the defaults in the energy space.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for default

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • الافتراArabic
  • неизпълнение, неустойка, стойност по подразбиранеBulgarian
  • selháníCzech
  • standardDanish
  • Zahlungsverzug, Grundzustand, Leistungsstörung, Nichterscheinen, Standard, Säumnis, Fristversäumnis, Nichtzahlung, Zahlungseinstellung, VersäumnisGerman
  • προεπιλογήGreek
  • defecto, por defecto, moraSpanish
  • oletusFinnish
  • défautFrench
  • սկզբնադիրArmenian
  • kegagalanIndonesian
  • predefinitoItalian
  • 기본Korean
  • defaultLatin
  • niet-nakomingDutch
  • wartość domyślnaPolish
  • padrão, inadimplênciaPortuguese
  • неплатёж, дефолт, значение по умолчаниюRussian
  • standardinställningar, standardalternativ, standard, standardvalSwedish
  • இயல்புநிலைTamil
  • за замовчуваннямUkrainian
  • mặc địnhVietnamese
  • 默認Chinese

Get even more translations for default »


Find a translation for the default definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"default." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 4 Oct. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/default>.

Discuss these default definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for default? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    (law) a broad legal concept including anything that disturbs the reasonable use of your property or endangers life and health or is offensive
    • A. vehicle
    • B. nuisance
    • C. cycling
    • D. assault

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for default: