Definitions for desertˈdɛz ərt

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word desert

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

des•ertˈdɛz ərt(n.)

  1. an arid, sandy region capable of supporting only a few, usu. specialized, life forms.

    Category: Ecology

  2. any area in which few forms of life can exist because of lack of water or absence of soil.

    Category: Ecology

  3. any place lacking in something desirable:

    The town was a cultural desert.

  4. (adj.)of, pertaining to, or like a desert; desolate; barren:

    a desert island.

  5. occurring or living in the desert:

    a desert palm.

  6. designed or suitable for use in the desert.

    Category: Common Vocabulary

Origin of desert:

1175–1225; < LL dēsertum der. of dēserere to abandon, forsake =dē-de - +serere to join together (in a line); cf. series

de•ser•ticdɪˈzɜr tɪk(adj.)


  1. to leave (a person, place, etc.) without intending to return:

    He deserted his wife.

  2. to run away from (military service) without leave.

    Category: Military

  3. to fail (someone) at a time of need:

    None of his friends had deserted him.

  4. (v.i.)to forsake or leave one's duty, obligations, etc.

Origin of desert:

1470–80; < MF déserter < LL dēsertāre, freq. of L dēserere; see desert1



  1. Often, deserts. reward or punishment that is deserved:

    to get one's just deserts.

  2. the state or fact of deserving reward or punishment.

  3. the fact of deserving well; merit; virtue.

Origin of desert:

1275–1325; < OF deserte, der. of deservir to deserve

Princeton's WordNet

  1. desert(verb)

    arid land with little or no vegetation

  2. abandon, forsake, desolate, desert(verb)

    leave someone who needs or counts on you; leave in the lurch

    "The mother deserted her children"

  3. defect, desert(verb)

    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"

  4. desert(verb)

    leave behind

    "the students deserted the campus after the end of exam period"

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. desert(noun)ɪˈzɜrt

    a large area of very dry land

    the Sahara Desert

  2. desert(verb)ɪˈzɜrt

    to leave and not come back

    a man who deserted his family; The birds had deserted the nest.

  3. desertɪˈzɜrt

    to leave the armed forces without permission

    ***He deserted after three months in the army.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Desert(noun)

    that which is deserved; the reward or the punishment justly due; claim to recompense, usually in a good sense; right to reward; merit

  2. Desert(noun)

    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

  3. Desert(noun)

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

  4. Desert(adj)

    of or pertaining to a desert; forsaken; without life or cultivation; unproductive; waste; barren; wild; desolate; solitary; as, they landed on a desert island

  5. Desert(verb)

    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

  6. Desert(verb)

    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

  7. Desert(verb)

    to abandon a service without leave; to quit military service without permission, before the expiration of one's term; to abscond


  1. Desert

    A desert is a landscape or region of land that is very dry because of low rainfall amounts, often has little coverage by plants, and in which streams dry up unless they are supplied by water from outside areas. Deserts can also be described as areas where more water is lost by evapotranspiration than falls as precipitation. Desert plants must have special adaptations to survive with this little water. Deserts generally receive less than 250 millimetres of rain each year. Semideserts or steppes are regions which receive between 250 millimetres and 400 to 500 millimetres.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'desert' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #4789

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'desert' in Nouns Frequency: #1763

  3. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'desert' in Verbs Frequency: #1058

Anagrams of desert

  1. Deters

Translations for desert

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


to go away from and leave without help etc; to leave or abandon

Why did you desert us?

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