Definition for DE-FAULT'

DE-FAULT', n. [Fr. defaut, for default, from defaillir, to fail; de and faillir, to fail. See Fail and Fault.]

  1. A failing, or failure; an omission of that which ought to be done; neglect to do what duty or law requires; as, this evil has happened through the governor's default. A default or fault, may be a crime, a vice, or a mere defect, according to the nature of the duty omitted.
  2. Defect; want; failure. Cooks could make artificial birds, in default of real ones. – Arbuthnot.
  3. In law, a failure of appearance in court at a day assigned, particularly of the defendant in a suit when called to make answer. It may be applied to jurors, witnesses, &c.; but a plaintif's failing to appear by himself or attorney, is usually called a non-appearance. To suffer a default, is to permit an action to be called without appearing or answering; applied to a defendant.

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