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in default of (something)

Due to the absence or lack of something; through the failure of something. Though it was only a speeding ticket, Janet was imprisoned in default of paying the fine. In default of concrete evidence, the jury was obligated to acquit the defendant of murder.
See also: default, of

default on something

to fail to act in some way regarding something, such as failing to make a payment, thereby losing one's right to the thing in question. You are not going to default on your loan, are you? She defaulted on her mortgage payments and lost the house.
See also: default

in default of

Through the failure, absence, or lack of, as in In default of a better solution, we'll have to make do with this one. This term was originally put as for default of, but John Gower had the current wording in Confessio Amantis (1397): "The fish, if it be dry, might in default of water die." [Late 1200s]
See also: default, of

in default of

Through the failure, absence, or lack of.
See also: default, of
References in periodicals archive ?
17, 2002--Standard & Poor's Risk Solutions today released preliminary year-end default statistics for calendar year 2002 indicating that the dollar amount of debt defaulting will vault to a record $157.
Each of the three defaulting issuers was initially rated speculative grade.
The number of issuers defaulting declined substantially in the third quarter to 28 from 53 in the second quarter but default volume remained high due almost entirely to WorldCom.
and Bermuda) accounted for the lion's share, with 67 issuers defaulting on US$68.
25, because investors were receiving all of their payments on time, while the company's local and foreign currency ratings were 'SD', as TGN had begun defaulting on some, but not all, of its financial obligations.