Desert meaning

dĕzərt
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.

noun
28
8
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.

verb
19
9
A barren or desolate area, especially:
  • A dry, often sandy region of little rainfall, extreme temperatures, and sparse vegetation.
  • A region of permanent cold that is largely or entirely devoid of life.
  • An apparently lifeless area of water.
noun
11
8
An empty or forsaken place; a wasteland.

A cultural desert.

noun
9
6
The quality of deserving reward; merit.
noun
9
7
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To leave empty or alone; abandon.
verb
4
2
To withdraw from, especially in spite of a responsibility or duty; forsake.

Deserted her friend in a time of need.

verb
3
1
A wild, uncultivated, and uninhabited region.
noun
3
3
To abandon (a military post, for example) in violation of orders or an oath.
verb
2
1
To forsake one's duty or post, especially to be absent without leave from the armed forces with no intention of returning.
verb
2
1
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To forsake (someone or something that one ought not to leave); abandon.
verb
2
1
Deserved reward or punishment.

To get one's just deserts.

noun
2
1
A dry, barren, sandy region, often extremely hot.
noun
2
2
Of a desert or deserts.
adjective
2
2
Wild and uninhabited.

A desert island.

adjective
2
2
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​(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.
noun
2
2
A barren area of land or desolate terrain, especially one with little water or vegetation; a wasteland.
noun
2
2
(figuratively) Any barren place or situation.
noun
2
2
Abandoned, deserted, or uninhabited; usually of a place.

They were marooned on a desert island in the Pacific.

adjective
2
2
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.

verb
2
2
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To leave one's duty or post, especially to leave a military or naval unit without permission.

Anyone found deserting will be shot.

verb
2
2
Of, relating to, characteristic of, or inhabiting a desert.

Desert fauna.

adjective
2
3
Something that is deserved or merited, especially a punishment.

They got their just deserts when the scheme was finally uncovered.

noun
2
3
To leave (one's post, military service, etc.) without permission.
verb
1
1
To fail (someone) when most needed.
verb
1
1
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To leave one's post, military duty, etc. without permission and with no intent to return, or, in war, in order to avoid hazardous duty.
verb
1
1
An uncultivated region without inhabitants; wilderness.
noun
1
1
The fact of deserving reward or punishment.
noun
1
1
A large, dry, barren region, usually having sandy or rocky soil and little or no vegetation. Water lost to evaporation and transpiration in a desert exceeds the amount of precipitation; most deserts average less than 25 cm (9.75 inches) of precipitation each year, concentrated in short local bursts. Deserts cover about one fifth of the Earth's surface, with the principal warm deserts located mainly along the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, where warm, rising equatorial air masses that have already lost most of their moisture descend over the subtropical regions. Cool deserts are located at higher elevations in the temperate regions, often on the lee side of a barrier mountain range where the prevailing winds drop their moisture before crossing the range.
1
1
The state or fact of deserving reward or punishment.
noun
1
2
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Barren and uninhabited; desolate.

A desert island.

adjective
1
3

Origin of desert

  • French déserter from Late Latin dēsertāre frequentative of Latin dēserere to abandon dē- de- serere to join ser-2 in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Middle English from Old French from Late Latin dēsertum from neuter past participle of dēserere to desert desert3

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Middle English from Old French deserte from feminine past participle of deservir to deserve deserve

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • French désert or Old French desert, from Vulgar Latin desertum, from Latin desertus (“left waste”), past participle of deserere (“abandon”).

    From Wiktionary

  • 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”)

    From Wiktionary

  • From French déserter, from Late Latin desertare, from Latin desertus, from deserere (“abandon”)

    From Wiktionary