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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 ?
We could easily imagine a kind of science fiction, envisioning a Brave New World in which people are defaulted into a large number of good outcomes but are thereby deprived of agency and learning.
Both countries defaulted on their debt, but the 2003 Uruguayan default does not seem to have been triggered by political turnover.
* If you have damaged your credit because of a defaulted loan, you must complete a loan rehabilitation program, which requires you to make 12 consecutive payments at a reasonable rate.
Second, since a fixed dollar amount of assets are being defaulted, the amortization schedule of the asset pool limits how far back defaults can be pushed.
A total of 340 wage earners, or 30.5%, the second-largest group, defaulted because they borrowed a larger amount of money than they could repay with their annual income, it said.
The mid-year population estimate of $567.4 billion--an amount that does not include issues that had defaulted prior to 1999 but were still outstanding--was swelled again by a continued surge in new issuance, which increased our base population by over $100 billion from a year earlier.
Marc Helie, head of a vulture fund, Gramercy Advisors, whose sole mission so far is to collect on defaulted Ecuadorian and Russian debt, has emerged as one of the loudest defenders of bondholders' rights.
This regulation provided guidance on the proper treatment of defaulted participant loans under qualified retirement plans, including the important distinction between "loan offset amounts" and "deemed distributions." (See "Qualified Retirement Plan Loans," The Tax Adviser, September 1996, p.
(12.) The claim amount on a defaulted loan generally includes the outstanding balance on the loan, delinquent interest payments, expenses incurred during foreclosure, costs to maintain the property, and advances the lender made to pay taxes and hazard insurance on the property.
Because students were graduating owing an average $10,000 for an undergraduate education and a staggering $35,000 for graduate degrees, they frequently defaulted, in part because the size of their monthly payments was fixed without regard to their incomes.
CLOs under Fitch's surveillance held some exposure to at least one of the nine CLO-held defaulted obligors, as of this month.
For example, there is little concrete information on how long loans stay in default, how outstanding balances change during and after default, and how federal policies to collect or cure defaulted loans affect borrowers' debts.
The researchers next turned their attention to the long-term implications of this effect and found that customers who were defaulted into the time-based plans reduced electricity consumption during high-priced peak periods by about 10 percent.