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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 ?
The Kamakura expected cumulative default curve for all rated companies worldwide widened as the one-year expected default rate increased by 0.17% to 1.48% and the 10-year rate increased by 0.76% to 14.93%.
Spot existing defaults: Identify existing defaults by asking yourself about the consequence of not making a choice.
The September TTM large middle market default rate is 1.2%, below the 2.3% broadly syndicated loan level.
Four of the five major cities saw their overall default rates decrease during the month of July.
"Whether the default pattern for bank cards stabilizes remains to be seen," he added.
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.
speculative-grade default rate to rise to a still-low 2.6% by the end of
Let's say, you downloaded Nova Launcher and you want it to be your default home screen app.
"To keep students in the know about their loans and thus minimize default risk, the president's office, data teams and even faculty--not just the financial aid office--should all disseminate information about borrowers," says Bryce McKibben, policy analyst for ACCT.
One crude personalized default rule takes a particular, observable characteristic and sorts individuals into different legal defaults based on whether they possess that characteristic.
Are there neurological markers of the effects of defaults? A study of the brain, using fMRI scanning, confirms the suggestion that default settings are especially important in complex situations.
Taipei, July 16, 2012 (CENS) -- Taiwan's Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) has recently studied the feasibility of raising the default provision rate on normal lending (Category 1 loans) to 1% from the current 0.5% to enable domestic banks to better prepare for potential defaults, with the new rate reportedly to become effective by the end of 2013 at the earliest, additional provisions set aside by banks estimated to be NT$67 billion (US$2.23 billion) in total.
This paper examines the intricate dynamics of inflation and defaults. The experience of the United States during the past four decades is subjected to empirical analysis to examine how the nature of the relationship changed as we shifted from a high inflation to a low inflation regime.