Sunset over the desert.
- 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.
- 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 of desertFrench déserter from Late Latin desertare from desertus, past participle of Classical Latin deserere, to desert, literally , to disjoin from de-, from + serere, to join from Indo-European base an unverified form ser-, to join, place in a row from source Classical Greek eirein, to fasten in rows, Classical Latin series
- an uncultivated region without inhabitants; wilderness
- a dry, barren, sandy region, often extremely hot
Origin of desertMiddle 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
- [often pl.] deserved reward or punishment: to get one's just deserts
- the quality of deserving reward; merit
Origin of desertMiddle English and Old French deserte from deservir: see deserve
- 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 and uninhabited region.
- Of, relating to, characteristic of, or inhabiting a desert: desert fauna.
- Wild and uninhabited: a desert island.
Origin of desertMiddle English from Old French from Late Latin dēsertum from neuter past participle of dēserere to desert ; see desert3.
top: Sahara desert erg
bottom: Antarctic desert
Ross Island, Antarctica
- often deserts Something that is deserved or merited, especially a punishment: They got their just deserts when the scheme was finally uncovered.
- The state or fact of deserving reward or punishment.
Origin of desertMiddle 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; merit,” 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.”
verbde·sert·ed, de·sert·ing, de·serts
- 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 of desertFrench déserter from Late Latin dēsertāre frequentative of Latin dēserere to abandon dē- de- serere to join ; see ser-2 in Indo-European roots.
- (usually in plural) That which is deserved or merited; a just punishment or reward
- 1600, John Dowland, Flow My Tears
- From the highest spire of contentment / my fortune is thrown; / and fear and grief and pain for my deserts / are my hopes, since hope is gone.
- 1897, Bram Stoker, Dracula Chapter 21
- "Nonsense, Mina. It is a shame to me to hear such a word. I would not hear it of you. And I shall not hear it from you. May God judge me by my deserts, and punish me with more bitter suffering than even this hour, if by any act or will of mine anything ever come between us!"
- A. Hamilton
- His reputation falls far below his desert.
- 1600, John Dowland, Flow My Tears
Middle English from the Old French deserte, from deservir (“to deserve”). This in turn is from the Vulgar Latin deservire (“to gain or merit by giving service”)
- Abandoned, deserted, or uninhabited; usually of a place.
- They were marooned on a desert island in the Pacific.
(third-person singular simple present deserts, present participle deserting, simple past and past participle deserted)
- To leave (anything that depends on one's presence to survive, exist, or succeed), especially when contrary to a promise or obligation; to abandon; to forsake.
- You can't just drive off and desert me here, in the middle of nowhere.
- To leave one's duty or post, especially to leave a military or naval unit without permission.
- Anyone found deserting will be shot.