Definitions for: Desert


[n] an arid region with little or no vegetation
[adj] located in a dismal or remote area; desolate; "a desert island"; "a godforsaken wilderness crossroads"; "a wild stretch of land"; "waste places"
[v] leave someone who needs or counts on you; leave in the lurch; "The mother deserted her children"
[v] desert (a cause, a country or an army), often in order to join the opposing cause, country, or army; "If soldiers deserted Hitler's army, they were shot"



Webster (1913) Definition: De*sert", n. [OF. deserte, desserte, merit, recompense,
fr. deservir, desservir, to merit. See Deserve.]
That which is deserved; the reward or the punishment justly
due; claim to recompense, usually in a good sense; right to
reward; merit.

According to their deserts will I judge them. --Ezek.
vii. 27.

Andronicus, surnamed Pius For many good and great
deserts to Rome. --Shak.

His reputation falls far below his desert. --A.
Hamilton.

Syn: Merit; worth; excellence; due.


Des"ert, n. [F. d['e]sert, L. desertum, from desertus
solitary, desert, pp. of deserere to desert; de- + serere to
join together. See Series.]
1. A deserted or forsaken region; a barren tract incapable of
supporting population, as the vast sand plains of Asia and
Africa are destitute and vegetation.

A dreary desert and a gloomy waste. --Pope.

2. A tract, which may be capable of sustaining a population,
but has been left unoccupied and uncultivated; a
wilderness; a solitary place.

He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her
desert like the garden of the Lord. --Is. li. 3.

Note: Also figuratively.

Before her extended Dreary and vast and silent,
the desert of life. --Longfellow.


Des"ert, a. [Cf. L. desertus, p. p. of deserere, and F.
d['e]sert. See 2d Desert.]
Of or pertaining to a desert; forsaken; without life or
cultivation; unproductive; waste; barren; wild; desolate;
solitary; as, they landed on a desert island.

He . . . went aside privately into a desert place.
--Luke ix. 10.

Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, And waste
its sweetness on the desert air. --Gray.

Desert flora (Bot.), the assemblage of plants growing
naturally in a desert, or in a dry and apparently
unproductive place.

Desert hare (Zo["o]l.), a small hare (Lepus sylvaticus,
var. Arizon[ae]) inhabiting the deserts of the Western
United States.

Desert mouse (Zo["o]l.), an American mouse ({Hesperomys
eremicus}), living in the Western deserts.


De*sert", v. t. [imp. & p. p. Deserted; p. pr. & vb.
n. Deserting.] [Cf. L. desertus, p. p. of deserere to
desert, F. d['e]serter. See 2d Desert.]
1. To leave (especially something which one should stay by
and support); to leave in the lurch; to abandon; to
forsake; -- implying blame, except sometimes when used of
localities; as, to desert a friend, a principle, a cause,
one's country. ``The deserted fortress.'' --Prescott.

2. (Mil.) To abandon (the service) without leave; to forsake
in violation of duty; to abscond from; as, to desert the
army; to desert one's colors.


De*sert", v. i.
To abandon a service without leave; to quit military service
without permission, before the expiration of one's term; to
abscond.

The soldiers . . . deserted in numbers. --Bancroft.

Syn: To abandon; forsake; leave; relinquish; renounce; quit;
depart from; abdicate. See Abandon.

Synonyms: abandon, defect, desolate, forsake, godforsaken, inhospitable, waste, wild

See Also: Arabian Desert, Atacama Desert, Australian Desert, biome, Colorado Desert, Death Valley, dissent, ditch, expose, flee, fly, geographic area, geographic region, geographical area, geographical region, Gila Desert, Gobi, Gobi Desert, Kalahari, Kalahari Desert, leave, Libyan Desert, maroon, Mohave, Mohave Desert, Mojave, Mojave Desert, Namib Desert, Negev, Negev Desert, Nubian Desert, Painted Desert, Patagonian Desert, protest, rat, resist, Sahara, Sahara Desert, Sinai, Sinai Desert, strand, take flight, walk out

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