A person who has physically removed him- or herself from the control or direction of a military or naval unit with the intention of permanently leaving.
Under the United States Code of Military Justice, a person who has been placed on AWOL status for more than 30 days.
Origin of deserter
From Latindesertor (“deserter"), from desero (“I forsake, I abandon")
Deserter Sentence Examples
Toward dawn, Count Orlov-Denisov, who had dozed off, was awakened by a deserter from the French army being brought to him.
We all profess the Christian law of forgiveness of injuries and love of our neighbors, the law in honor of which we have built in Moscow forty times forty churches--but yesterday a deserter was knouted to death and a minister of that same law of love and forgiveness, a priest, gave the soldier a cross to kiss before his execution.
A deserter announced his arrival to Vespasian, who rejoiced (Josephus says) that the cleverest of his enemies had thus voluntarily imprisoned himself.
2 His having been selected for such a commission shows that he was not yet regarded as a deserter from the Whigs, although the ill success of his representations probably helped to make him one.
A revival of Irredentism in connection with the execution of an Austrian deserter named Oberdank, who after escaping into Italy endeavoured to return to Austria with explosive bombs in his possession, and the cordial references to France made by Depretis at Stradella (8th October 1882), prevented the French government from suspecting the existence of the alliance, or from ceasing to strive after a Franco-Italian understanding.