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Failure vs Neglect vs Default vs Miscarriage vs Dereliction

Failure, neglectdefaultmiscarriagedereliction are comparable when they mean an omission on the part of someone or something of what is expected or required of him or of it.

Failure basically implies a being found wanting; it implies a lack or absence of something that might have been expected to occur or to be accomplished, performed, or effected.

Neglect (see also NEGLIGENCE ) implies carelessness and inattentiveness on the part of a person, so that what is expected or required of him is either left unattended to or is not adequately performed.

Default is now chiefly found in legal use, where it implies a failure to perform something required by law (as a failure of a plaintiff or of a defendant to appear at the appointed time to prosecute or defend an action or a proceeding).

Default may also imply a failure to pay one’s debts at the appointed time or in extended use a failure to perform something required, usually by total omission of pertinent action.

Miscarriage does not so definitely point the blame for a failure of someone or something to live up to expectations or to accomplish certain ends as do the preceding words; it is often used when there are no definite persons or things to which culpability can be assigned or when for some reason or other there is a desire to avoid casting of blame.

Dereliction, of all these terms, carries the strongest implication of a neglect that amounts to an abandonment of, or a departure from, the thing and especially the duty, the principle, or the law that should have been uppermost in a person’s mind; ordinarily it implies a morally reprehensible failure rather than one resulting from carelessness and inattention or from mishap.