default

As a setting, a default is automatic. You weren't sure why your new TV kept returning to the factory defaults until you realized you were sitting on the remote.

Default can also refer to a lack of other options. You shop at Green's by default; it's the only grocery store in town. Default is also a failure to pay a financial obligation. The number of loan defaults was down this month. As a verb, it means "to fail to pay." Your credit score will go down if you default on a loan.

Primary Meanings of default

1.
n
an option that is selected automatically unless an alternative is specified
2.
nv
loss due to not showing up
fail to pay up
Full Definitions of default
1

n an option that is selected automatically unless an alternative is specified

Synonyms:
default option
Type of:
alternative, choice, option
one of a number of things from which only one can be chosen
2

n loss due to not showing up

“he lost the game by default
Type of:
loss
the act of losing someone or something
absence
failure to be present

n loss resulting from failure of a debt to be paid

Synonyms:
nonpayment, nonremittal
Antonyms:
payment
a sum of money paid or a claim discharged
Types:
delinquency
nonpayment of a debt when due
Type of:
financial loss
loss of money or decrease in financial value

n act of failing to meet a financial obligation

Synonyms:
nonpayment, nonremittal
Type of:
failure
an act that fails

v fail to pay up

Synonyms:
default on
Antonyms:
ante up, pay, pay up
cancel or discharge a debt
Type of:
fail, neglect
fail to do something; leave something undone

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.