Definition of by default in English:

by default

phrase

  • 1Because of a lack of opposition:

    ‘they won the last election by default’
    • ‘Efforts to support an uprising around a weak opposition fail and strengthen him by default.’
    • ‘The opposite, by default, must then be the definition of an anti-politician.’
    • ‘Perhaps they will be re-elected in the next elections by default, with no-one having voted!’
    • ‘The movement was partially empowered by default of serious opposition.’
    1. 1.1 Through lack of positive action rather than conscious choice:
      ‘he became an actor by default’
      • ‘If he is on the altcountry shelves then it is by default rather than design.’
      • ‘Which leaves a rather surprised looking Laura sitting at the top of my heap, by default rather than on account of any particular merit.’
      • ‘He got the job by default when the first choice dropped out, and even then it was only through the intervention of someone important.’
      • ‘It becomes a study in the corruption of friendship, by default, since it doesn't function well as a mystery thriller.’
      • ‘A judge has ruled hacking is legal by default in Argentina because of a lack of applicable computer crime laws.’
      • ‘I wouldn't call her a feminist, except by default because for her it wasn't a conscious stance.’
      • ‘So those friends who are just always around each other could be friends almost by default, perhaps.’
      • ‘The time slot is probably more by default rather than design but it is quite apt that it should be shown at that time of the morning.’
      • ‘However, I am not wrong in stating that we lack this capability by default - not by conscious strategy.’
      • ‘Not to choose and not to care is to conform by default - which is the most insidious choice of all, and self-defeating.’
      failure to act, failure to appear, inaction, omission, lapse, lack, exclusion, neglect, negligence, disregard
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