Pronounce "default"

How do you pronounce the word “default”?

Both ways.

That is the DEE-fault setting. The parameter is set that way by de-FAULT.

It varies.

He is in dee-FAULT of the scheduling provision.

The travel restrictions are included by deh-FAULT.

Oh, good thing I read this. I was about to say it’s always duh-FAULT, but, after reading your example, I do sometimes stress the first syllable and pronounce it as “DEE-fault” in certain cases. I’m not sure whether it’s because an unstressed “the” comes before “default” there, so “the duh-FAULT” sounds uneuphonious to me or what, but I do think I tend to say it Johnny L.A.'s way in spontaneous speech. It really can go both ways for me in that context. Maybe it depends on how much semantic stress I want to put on the word “default.”

I’m pretty sure, though, that the vast majority of time, I say something akin to “duh-FAULT.”

Renault = Re-NO

Default = De-FO

(Was watching a doco on AMC’s Pacer last night.)

I am not a linguist, but I have noticed there are some words where those born in the U.S. will put the stress on the first syllable, while a European will put the stress on the second syllable. The example I hear most often is


Here in the U.S., most people say REE-search. In Europe most people pronounce it ri-SEARCH.

(after googling) Is this it? I’m going to have to watch that. My family had a Pacer.

Mrs. L.A. says CEE-ment and IN-surance. I bite my tongue every time. We’re both natives of Southern California, but she grew up in a more rural setting and later moved to the South.


^^ That’s the one! I would have given both eyeteeth for a Pacer.

I’m a pest: the star of “Hemo the Magnificent,” was Dr. Ri-SEARCH.
Johnny L.A. is married to Elly May Clampett.

de-FAULT (stress on the second syllable)

US born and bred, and that’s another one that goes both ways for me. Most of the time, I do pronounce it as REE-search, but I will sometimes say “ri-SEARCH” (though probably only when a verb.) Like I would probably usually say, “I’m gonna go rə-SEARCH that for you when I get a chance.”

Interesting, in both Merriam-Webster and, the unstressed-first-syllable version is given first, so I’m not quite sure it can be used as a trustworthy shibboleth for one’s origins.

default, dear Brutus is not in our stars.

Usually the accent is on the second syllable for me, but, when stressing the word when used as a noun, the accent is on the first syllable.

[del]Research is usually verb (second syllable) vs. noun (first syllable).[/del]

Thought about it as I got up and realized it’s not that simple.

More often than not its dah-fault especially when being combined with the word “setting”.

The poll wasn’t up when I posted. I’m not consistent in my pronunciation of this word, and my inconsistency is not context dependent.

I have similar (what others may see as) issues with a few other words, most notably “data” and “databases.” This may be slowly driving my co-workers insane. I work as a business/design lead and tester for our program databases.

It’s not a conscious thing. I’m not trying to drive them mad.

A object has a DEE-fault.

Something is decided by DUH-fault.

It’s common in English for a two syllable word to have the accent on the first syllable when it is used as a noun and on the second when it is used as a verb; for example, “permit”, “record”, “addict”, “refill”, “recoil”, etc. (Long list on Wikipedia). So it would be expected that “default” would have a first syllable accent as a noun (“That procedure is the default”), and a second syllable accent when used as a verb (“He is going to default on his loan.”). To me the ambiguous cases are when it is used as an adjective, and in such cases neither pronunciation seems wrong to me.

Oddly enough, I’ve been considering starting a thread to collect examples of this, for no other reason than I think it’s kind of a cool linguistic curiosity.
Should have figured Wikipedia already did it for me!

Same except that I use DEE-fault for adjectives, too.