in default of something

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

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