De*fault" (?), n. [OE. defaute, OF. defaute, defalte, fem., F. d'efaut, masc., LL. defalta, fr. a verb meaning, to be deficient, to want, fail, fr. L. de- + fallere to deceive. See Fault.]


A failing or failure; omission of that which ought to be done; neglect to do whaduty or law requires; as, this evil has happened through the governor's default.


Fault; offense; ill deed; wrong act; failure in virtue or wisdom.

And pardon craved for his so rash default. Spenser.

Regardless of our merit or default. Pope.

3. Law

A neglect of, or failure to take, some step necessary to secure the benefit of law, as a failure to appear in court at a day assigned, especially of the defendant in a suit when called to make answer; also of jurors, witnesses, etc.

In default of, in case of failure or lack of.

Cooks could make artificial birds and fishes in default of the real ones. Arbuthnot.

-- To suffer a default Law, to permit an action to be called without appearing to answer.


© Webster 1913.

De*fault", v. i. [imp. & p. p. Defaulted; p. pr. & vb. n. Defaulting.]


To fail in duty; to offend.

That he gainst courtesy so foully did default. Spenser.


To fail in fulfilling a contract, agreement, or duty.


To fail to appear in court; to let a case go by default.


© Webster 1913.

De*fault", v. t.


To fail to perform or pay; to be guilty of neglect of; to omit; as, to default a dividend.

What they have defaulted towards him as no king. Milton.

2. Law

To call a defendant or other party whose duty it is to be present in court, and make entry of his default, if he fails to appear; to enter a default against.


To leave out of account; to omit.


Defaulting unnecessary and partial discourses. Hales.


© Webster 1913.

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