default into

littlemonyou

Senior Member
Korean
#1
The key to changing a habit is to invest heavily in the early stages of habit-formation so that the behavior becomes automated and we later default into it rather than exhausting our willpower wrestling with it. (From "how to make your own luck", brain pickings)



Hi, I am having a difficult time to apply the definition of "default" in this context above. Default means "to fail to perform sth" according to dictionaries, yet the definition doesn't seem to fit in to this context at all.

Could you help me to understand this sentence? Thanks!
 
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  • Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    #2
    I don't see this verb definition in the WR dictionary, but it's related to the following noun definition:

    "the preset selection of an option offered by a system, which will always be followed except when explicitly altered"

    If you "default to" something, you revert to it automatically.

    Please remember to cite the source of any sentence you post.


     

    loghrat

    Senior Member
    British English / Danish
    #5
    I don't see this verb definition in the WR dictionary

    It is there, Florentia. See below.
    But, as you say, 'default (in)to' in the OP has a different
    meaning, i.e. it is a verbal form of noun definition 6. Interesting to note that the WR Dictionary doesn't list this.

    default /dɪˈfɔːlt/n
    • a failure to act, esp a failure to meet a financial obligation or to appear in a court of law at a time specified
    • absence or lack
    • by default ⇒ in the absence of opposition or a better alternative:he became prime minister by default
    • in default of ⇒ through or in the lack or absence of
    • judgment by default ⇒ a judgment in the plaintiff's favour when the defendant fails to plead or to appear
    • /(also) ˈdiːfɔːlt/ the preset selection of an option offered by a system, which will always be followed except when explicitly altered
    • (as modifier): default setting
    vb
    • (intr; often followed by on or in) to fail to make payment when due
    • (intransitive) to fail to fulfil or perform an obligation, engagement, etc: to default in a sporting contest
    • to lose (a case) by failure to appear in court
    Etymology: 13th Century: from Old French defaute, from defaillir to fail, from Vulgar Latin dēfallīre (unattested) to be lacking



     
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