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des·ert 1

1. 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.
2. An empty or forsaken place; a wasteland: a cultural desert.
3. Archaic A wild and uninhabited region.
1. Of, relating to, characteristic of, or inhabiting a desert: desert fauna.
2. Wild and uninhabited: a desert island.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin dēsertum, from neuter past participle of dēserere, to desert; see desert3.]

de·sert 2

1. often deserts Something that is deserved or merited, especially a punishment: They got their just deserts when the scheme was finally uncovered.
2. The state or fact of deserving reward or punishment.

[Middle 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."

de·sert 3

v. de·sert·ed, de·sert·ing, de·serts
1. To leave empty or alone; abandon.
2. To withdraw from, especially in spite of a responsibility or duty; forsake: deserted her friend in a time of need.
3. To abandon (a military post, for example) in violation of orders or an oath.
To forsake one's duty or post, especially to be absent without leave from the armed forces with no intention of returning.

[French déserter, from Late Latin dēsertāre, frequentative of Latin dēserere, to abandon : dē-, de- + serere, to join; see ser- in Indo-European roots.]

de·sert′er n.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.deserter - a disloyal person who betrays or deserts his cause or religion or political party or friend etc.deserter - a disloyal person who betrays or deserts his cause or religion or political party or friend etc.
quitter - a person who gives up too easily
2.deserter - a person who abandons their duty (as on a military post)
armed forces, armed services, military, military machine, war machine - the military forces of a nation; "their military is the largest in the region"; "the military machine is the same one we faced in 1991 but now it is weaker"
offender, wrongdoer - a person who transgresses moral or civil law
deviationist - an ideological defector from the party line (especially from orthodox communism)
draft dodger, draft evader - someone who is drafted and illegally refuses to serve
renegade - someone who rebels and becomes an outlaw
walk-in - an operative who initiates his own defection (usually to a hostile country) for political asylum


noun defector, runaway, fugitive, traitor, renegade, truant, escapee, absconder, apostate He was a deserter from the army.


A person who has defected:
Informal: rat.
فارٌّ من الجُنْدِيَّه


[dɪˈzɜːtəʳ] N (Mil) → desertor(a) m/f (Pol) → tránsfuga mf


[dɪˈzɜːrr] ndéserteur m


n (Mil, fig) → Deserteur(in) m(f)


[dɪˈzɜːtəʳ] n (Mil) → disertore m


(diˈzəːt) verb
1. to go away from and leave without help etc; to leave or abandon. Why did you desert us?
2. to run away, usually from the army. He was shot for trying to desert.
deˈserted adjective
1. with no people etc. The streets are completely deserted.
2. abandoned. his deserted wife and children.
deˈserter noun
a man who deserts from the army etc.
deˈsertion (-ʃən) noun
(an) act of deserting.
References in classic literature ?
Oswald, on receiving this intelligence, resolved to return to his master for farther instructions, carrying along with him Gurth, whom he considered in some sort as a deserter from the service of Cedric.
At the back the Deserter was seen issuing from prison between the soldiers; in the foreground the young woman lay fainting, and pointing to his pardon.
On the 10th of February, 1828, the Astrolabe appeared off Tikopia, and took as guide and interpreter a deserter found on the island; made his way to Vanikoro, sighted it on the 12th inst.
Men of position and of influence spent their evenings on our veranda, among others the Melbourne agent for the Lady Jermyn, the likeliest vessel then lying in the harbor, and the one to which the first consignment of gold-dust would be entrusted if only a skipper could be found to replace the deserter who took you out.
The woods were said to be full of soldiers who had deserted from the army, and I had been told that the first thing a deserter did to a Negro boy when he found him alone was to cut off his ears.
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.
Directly he reached home he sat down at his table, and began to write Katharine a long, wild, mad letter, begging her for both their sakes to break with Rodney, imploring her not to do what would destroy for ever the one beauty, the one truth, the one hope; not to be a traitor, not to be a deserter, for if she were--and he wound up with a quiet and brief assertion that, whatever she did or left undone, he would believe to be the best, and accept from her with gratitude.
It seemed that the man who had wooed me was no gentleman at all, but a deserter from the army as well as a fugitive from civil justice.
He turned and twisted, schemed and devised, bludgeoned and bullied the weaker ones, kept the faint-hearted in the fight, and had no mercy on the deserter.
Rose was so mortified and grieved at this downfall of her hopes that she spoke sharply, and would not take the ring the deserter offered her.
Some bands, in strong positions, fought gallantly, but in the end every deserter from the militia met death.
you do well to remind me of the ladies, you dastardly deserter,' cried he, shaking his formidable fist at his brother-in- law.