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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 ?
If a sovereign cannot perfectly discriminate between domestic and foreign creditors, then the political cost of defaulting described above also allows the sovereign to issue debt to foreign lenders.
Using a recovery rate series from Moody's and the expected proportions of defaulting firms obtained from our simulation approach, we obtain a statistical relationship similar to those estimated in the literature.
2011: 100-130 defaulting issuers (7-9 per cent default rate)
Defaults are typically defined as failure to pay, and there are very few instances where defaulted obligations stay current on interest while defaulting on principal.
This indicates that defaulting homeowners are not necessarily young couples but may include large families.
To avoid the undesirable effects of a recast, large-value multilateral netting arrangements-such as CHIPS-may provide special "assurances" of settlement akin to "guarantees." The nondefaulting participants may, for example, agree in advance to share the burden of meeting the defaulting participant's obligation to allow settlement to occur on schedule.
Harsher penalties are imposed on borrowers who quickly repay their loans in full after defaulting than on those who engage in a lengthy, bureaucratic "rehabilitation" process but make no progress in paying down their debts.
However, previously defaulted borrowers are at high risk of defaulting again.
"Mortgage payment patterns have shifted, and some borrowers are intentionally defaulting on their mortgages because they believe it is in their best financial interest, and because they believe the consequences will be minimal," said Andrew Jennings, chief analytics officer at FICO and head of FICO Labs.
In 2009, the Media industry was the worst performer with 45 issuers defaulting. The Automotive and Hotel/Gaming/Leisure industries were next with 19 defaulters from each sector.
"The problem with defaulting is that the government doesn't give up," he continued.
The speed of this process has a dramatic impact on all parties involved, from the bank or institutional lender, to the co-operative board, its managing agent and of course, the defaulting borrower.
But the fourth quarter of 1999 posted the lowest number of defaulters of the year, with 26 issuers defaulting on $6.2 billion.
This amount was comprised of 149 issues from 100 defaulting companies and resulted in a default rate of 4.15 percent.