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by default

1. Used to describe an outcome that happens because nothing has been done to change or prevent it. If you don't start saving money now, while you're young, you'll be working till you're 90 by default.
2. By forfeit. Used to describe a contest whose outcome is determined by a competitor's absence. If the other team can't field enough players, then we'll win by default.
See also: by, default

default on (something)

To fail to repay a loan on something (which often results in the loss of that thing). If you default on your car loan, your car might get repossessed.
See also: default, on

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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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, on
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

by deˈfault


1 a game or competition can be won by default if there are no other competitors: The other team didn’t even turn up, so we won by default.
2 if something happens by default, it happens because you have not made any other decision or choices which would make things happen differently: It was never my ambition to get into teaching. I became a teacher more by default than by choice.
See also: by, default

in deˈfault of something

(formal) because of a lack of something: They accepted what he had said in default of any evidence to disprove it.
See also: default, of, something
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

in default of

Through the failure, absence, or lack of.
See also: default, of
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
About the Troubled Company Index The Kamakura Troubled Company Index measures the percentage of 40,576 public firms in 76 countries that have an annualized one- month default risk of over one percent.
Defaults are part of what behavioural economists call the choice architecture, which steers our decisions in specific directions.
'It is to be noted that under the FSIA, a default judgement cannot be entered against a foreign State like Nigeria unless the presiding judge determines so after the petitioner/claimant must have established its entitlement to a default judgement,' he said.
At Kamakura, we use a troubled company index, which shows the percentage of 39,000 public firms with a default probability of over 1%.
The benefits will also be available in cases where a person has paid late the principal amount of tax prior to the issuance of this notification, but has not yet paid the penalty and default surcharge provided he pays 10% of penalty (as outstanding on May 21, 2018) and 25% of default surcharge (as outstanding on May 19, 2017) to the Sindh government by June 20, 2018.
This year (2015-2016), KP Provincial Assembly tops the percentage of defaulting legislators as 49 or 39% KP MPAs failed to submit their statements by October 15; closely followed by the Punjab Assembly where 137 or 37 % members defaulted. Sindh Assembly did relatively better with 49 or 29 % members defaulting.
A default notice can be issued by a creditor if you do not keep up with the terms of a credit agreement.
S&P/Experian consumer credit default indices have found a 2.92 percent decrease in credit card defaults rates in July 2016, the companies said.
M2 EQUITYBITES-August 18, 2016-S&P, Experian report drop in bank card default rates
"For two months, the overall consumer credit default rate has dropped to new lows while the default rate on bank cards has climbed," David M.
Project finance bank loans continue to demonstrate default and recovery performance that are attractive to long-term lenders, according to Moody's Investors Service in its latest annual study, Default and Recovery Rates for Project Finance Bank Loans, 1983-2014.
Correction (published June 13, 2015): A June 12 editorial overstated the student loan default rates at the University of Oregon and Oregon State University.
Summary: Moody's Investors Service trailing 12-month global speculative-grade default rate closed at 2.2% in April 2015
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