Desert Definition

dĕzərt
deserted, deserts
noun
deserts
A dry, barren, sandy region, often extremely hot.
Webster's New World
An uncultivated region without inhabitants; wilderness.
Webster's New World
An empty or forsaken place; a wasteland.
A cultural desert.
American Heritage
The fact of deserving reward or punishment.
Webster's New World
Deserved reward or punishment.
To get one's just deserts.
Webster's New World
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adjective
Of a desert or deserts.
Webster's New World
Of, relating to, characteristic of, or inhabiting a desert.
Desert fauna.
American Heritage
Wild and uninhabited.
A desert island.
Webster's New World
verb
deserted, deserts
To forsake (someone or something that one ought not to leave); abandon.
Webster's New World
To withdraw from, especially in spite of a responsibility or duty; forsake.
Deserted her friend in a time of need.
American Heritage
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.
Webster's New World
To leave (one's post, military service, etc.) without permission.
Webster's New World
To fail (someone) when most needed.
Webster's New World
Antonyms:
oceanstaysupportassistaidhelpcome backwaterproductivecultivatedfertilearableobeydo one's duty. See syn. study at abandon.abandon
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other
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.
American Heritage Science

Other Word Forms of Desert

Noun

Singular:
desert
Plural:
deserts

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

  • 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 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 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

  • 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

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

    From Wiktionary

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