Default meaning ''mandatory''?


Senior Member
Hello everyone

I often read the word 'default' - used as an attributive adjective - with the same meaning as 'mandatory/obligatory'.. For example, among the elements of the WR rules, there is a ''WR default style''. At the UN, they speak of 'default languages in the discussion', etc.
Is that usage correct in English, and - if so - how did that meaning of the word 'default' originate?

Thank you in advance for your replies.
  • Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Default does not mean mandatory.

    The official languages in NATO are English and French.

    The default languages for discussions in NATO are French and English. That is, at all NATO meetings the discussion will be in those two languages, unless there is a specific agreement to the contrary. So if the Germans have a meeting to discuss something with the Dutch and agree to do so in German they are free to do so. They don't have to speak English or French.

    Official NATO documents must be published in the official languages. It is mandatory for NATO documents to be published in English and French.
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