- The definition of a desert is a dry, hot, sandy, usually barren and uninhabited area.
- An example of desert is the Mojave.
- An example of desert is Death Valley.
- Desert is defined as to leave or abandon someone or something.
- An example of desert is a man leaving his pregnant girlfriend.
- An example of desert is a military person leaving their post without permission.
Sunset over the desert.Licensed from iStockPhoto
- to forsake (someone or something that one ought not to leave); abandon
- to leave (one's post, military service, etc.) without permission
- to fail (someone) when most needed
Origin: French déserter ; from Late Latin desertare ; from desertus, past participle of Classical Latin deserere, to desert, literally , to disjoin ; from de-, from plush serere, to join ; from Indo-European base an unverified form ser-, to join, place inch(es) a row from source Classical Greek eirein, to fasten inch(es) rows, Classical Latin series
- deserter noun
- an uncultivated region without inhabitants; wilderness
- a dry, barren, sandy region, often extremely hot
Origin: Middle English ; from Old French ; from Ecclesiastical Late Latin desertum, a desert, for Classical Latin deserta ; from desertus: see desert
- of a desert or deserts
- wild and uninhabited: a desert island
- the fact of deserving reward or punishment
- deserved reward or punishment: to get one's just deserts
- the quality of deserving reward; merit
Origin: Middle English and amp; Old French deserte ; from deservir: see deserve
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- A barren or desolate area, especially:a. A dry, often sandy region of little rainfall, extreme temperatures, and sparse vegetation.b. A region of permanent cold that is largely or entirely devoid of life.c. An apparently lifeless area of water.
- An empty or forsaken place; a wasteland: a cultural desert.
- Archaic A wild, uncultivated, and uninhabited region.
- Of, relating to, characteristic of, or inhabiting a desert: desert fauna.
- Barren and uninhabited; desolate: a desert island.
Origin: Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin dēsertum, from neuter past participle of dēserere, to desert; see desert3.
- Something that is deserved or merited, especially a punishment. Often used in the plural: They got their just deserts when the scheme was finally uncovered.
- The state or fact of deserving reward or punishment.
Origin: Middle English, from Old French deserte, from feminine past participle of deservir, to deserve; see deserve.Word History: When Shakespeare says in Sonnet 72, “Unless you would devise some virtuous lie,/To do more for me than mine own desert,” he is using the word desert in the sense of “worthiness; deserving,” a word perhaps most familiar to us in the plural, meaning “something that is deserved,” as in the phrase just deserts. This word goes back to the Latin word dēservīre, “to devote oneself to the service of,” which in Vulgar Latin came to mean “to merit by service.” Dēservīre is made up of dē-, meaning “thoroughly,” and servīre, “to serve.” Knowing this, we can distinguish this desert from desert, “a wasteland,” and desert, “to abandon,” both of which go back to Latin dēserere, “to forsake, leave uninhabited,” which is made up of dē-, expressing the notion of undoing, and the verb serere, “to link together.” We can also distinguish all three deserts from dessert, “a sweet course at the end of a meal,” which is from the French word desservir, “to clear the table.” Desservir is made up of des-, expressing the notion of reversal, and servir (from Latin servīre), “to serve,” hence, “to unserve” or “to clear the table.”
verb de·sert·ed, de·sert·ing, de·serts verb, transitive
- To leave empty or alone; abandon.
- To withdraw from, especially in spite of a responsibility or duty; forsake: deserted her friend in a time of need.
- To abandon (a military post, for example) in violation of orders or an oath.
Origin: French déserter, from Late Latin dēsertāre, frequentative of Latin dēserere, to abandon : dē-, de- + serere, to join; see ser-2 in Indo-European roots.
- de·sertˈer noun
desert - Phrases/Idioms
desert - Science Definition
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