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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. © 2022 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 ?
The survey found that knowing a defaulter does not completely tarnish consumers' view of housing as a safe investment.
PESHAWAR -- In the process of electoral scrutiny to exclude ineligible candidates for the July 25 polls, Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) has found former Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister Pervez Khattak and Awami National Party leader Haji Ghulam Ahmed Bilour as its defaulters among many others.
According to the representatives of ECP, a defaulter of utility bills worth more than Rs10,000 cannot contest election.
In a statement, issued here on Tuesday, CEO Mepco Engineer Mohammad Akram Chaudhry said that the operation would continue against defaulters without any discrimination.
Sources said that the Chief Executive Officer of Mepco had issued strict direction to the superintending engineers of all operation circles to carry out indiscriminate action against the defaulters and cut off their power supply.
The defaulters were warned of strict action if the property taxes were not paid, he added.
Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (Hesco) with 395 defaulters owing over Rs1 million has to collect Rs730 million in outstanding dues, while Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco) has 460 customers with Rs1 million or more in dues, with a total collectable amount at Rs3.5 billion.
Rs 96.4 million from 13,650 defaulters in Bahawalpur circle, Rs64.6 million from 5,240 defaulters in Sahiwal circle, Rs 94.4
Task Forces of Tank Division recovered Rs 0.34 million from defaulters and removed 44 direct hooks while names of 15 persons sent to the concerned police stations for lodging FIRs.
The properties of the major defaulters whose electricity have already been disconnected for non-payment of around Rs 96 billion will be auctioned.
MULTAN -- Multan Electric Power Company (MEPCO) has recovered over Rs 1.19 billion from 96,750 chronic defaulters during the current fiscal year 2018-19.
ISLAMABAD -- List of 300 top defaulters of electricity bills is likely to be presented in the Public Accounts Committee of the National Assembly by end of this month.
MULTAN -- Multan Electric Power Company (MEPCO) launched a crack down against chronic defaulters and recovered over Rs 92 million from 7472 dead defaulters during February last.
MULTAN -- Multan Electric Power Company (MEPCO) Thursday recovered over Rs 159.3 million from 13,220 defaulters during the current month, November.
MULTAN -- Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) has launched crackdown against defaulters and disconnected connection of 115 defaulters.