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desert2

[dih-zurt] /dɪˈzɜrt/
verb (used with object)
1.
to leave (a person, place, etc.) without intending to return, especially in violation of a duty, promise, or the like:
He deserted his wife.
Synonyms: abandon, leave, quit; forsake.
2.
(of military personnel) to leave or run away from (service, duty, etc.) with the intention of never returning:
Terrified of the approaching battle, he deserted his post just before dawn.
3.
to fail (someone) at a time of need:
None of his friends had deserted him.
verb (used without object)
4.
to forsake or leave one's duty, obligations, etc. (sometimes followed by from, to, etc.):
Many deserted during the food shortage.
Synonyms: abdicate, resign.
5.
(of military personnel) to leave service, duty, etc., with no intention of returning:
Troops were deserting to the enemy.
Synonyms: go AWOL.
Origin
1470-1480
1470-80; < Middle French déserter < Late Latin dēsertāre, frequentative of Latin dēserere; see desert1
Related forms
desertedly, adverb
desertedness, noun
deserter, noun
predeserter, noun
Can be confused
desert, dessert.
Synonym Study
1. Desert, abandon, forsake mean to leave behind persons, places, or things. Desert implies intentionally violating an oath, formal obligation, or duty: to desert campaign pledges. Abandon suggests giving up wholly and finally, whether of necessity, unwillingly, or through shirking responsibilities: to abandon a hopeless task; abandon a child. Forsake has emotional connotations, since it implies violating obligations of affection or association: to forsake a noble cause.
Related Quotations
“There used to be two kinds of kisses: First when girls were kissed and deserted; second, when they were engaged. Now there's a third kind, where the man is kissed and deserted.“
—F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise (1920)
“Girty had deserted his military post at Port Pitt, and become an outlaw of his own volition.“
—Zane Grey, The Spirit of the Border (1906)
“I had a strong and comforting faith that I should be able to organize and conduct an Administration which would satisfy and win the country. This faith never deserted me.“
—Rutherford B. Hayes, “Diary (January 23, 1881)“ Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes: Nineteenth President of the United States, vol. III ed. Charles Richard Williams (1922-1926)
“[A]ll she knew was that her father had deserted from the Soviet army many years before. She believed that to be the reason he was in hiding.“
—Steve Martini, Guardian of Lies (2009)
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for desert to

desert1

/ˈdɛzət/
noun
1.
a region that is devoid or almost devoid of vegetation, esp because of low rainfall
2.
an uncultivated uninhabited region
3.
a place which lacks some desirable feature or quality: a cultural desert
4.
(modifier) of, relating to, or like a desert; infertile or desolate
Word Origin
C13: from Old French, from Church Latin dēsertum, from Latin dēserere to abandon, literally: to sever one's links with, from de- + serere to bind together

desert2

/dɪˈzɜːt/
verb
1.
(transitive) to leave or abandon (a person, place, etc) without intending to return, esp in violation of a duty, promise, or obligation
2.
(military) to abscond from (a post or duty) with no intention of returning
3.
(transitive) to fail (someone) in time of need: his good humour temporarily deserted him
4.
(transitive) (Scots law) to give up or postpone (a case or charge)
Derived Forms
deserter, noun
deserted, adjective
Word Origin
C15: from French déserter, from Late Latin dēsertāre, from Latin dēserere to forsake; see desert1

desert3

/dɪˈzɜːt/
noun
1.
(often pl) something that is deserved or merited; just reward or punishment
2.
the state of deserving a reward or punishment
3.
virtue or merit
Word Origin
C13: from Old French deserte, from deservir to deserve
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for desert to

desert

v.

"to leave one's duty," late 14c., from Old French deserter (12c.) "leave," literally "undo or sever connection," from Late Latin desertare, frequentative of Latin deserere "to abandon, to leave, forsake, give up, leave in the lurch," from de- "undo" (see de-) + serere "join together, put in a row" (see series). Military sense is first recorded 1640s. Related: Deserted; deserting.

n.

"wasteland," early 13c., from Old French desert (12c.) "desert, wilderness, wasteland; destruction, ruin," from Late Latin desertum (source of Italian diserto, Old Provençal dezert, Spanish desierto), literally "thing abandoned" (used in Vulgate to translate "wilderness"), noun use of neuter past participle of Latin deserere "forsake" (see desert (v.)).

Sense of "waterless, treeless region" was in Middle English and gradually became the main meaning. Commonly spelled desart in 18c., which is not etymological but at least avoids confusion with the other two senses of the word. Classical Latin indicated this idea with deserta, plural of desertus.

"suitable reward or punishment" (now usually plural and with just), c.1300, from Old French deserte, noun use of past participle of deservir "be worthy to have," ultimately from Latin deservire "serve well" (see deserve).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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desert to in Science
desert
  (děz'ərt)   
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.

Our Living Language  : A desert is defined not by temperature but by the sparse amount of water found in a region. An area with an annual rainfall of fewer than 25 centimeters (9.75 inches) generally qualifies as a desert. In spite of the dryness, however, some animals and plants have adapted to desert life and thrive in these harsh environments. While different animals live in different types of deserts, the dominant animals of warm deserts are reptiles, including snakes and lizards, small mammals, such as ground squirrels and mice, and arthropods, such as scorpions and beetles. These animals are usually nocturnal, spending the day resting in the shade of plants or burrowed in the ground, and emerging in the evenings to hunt or eat. Warm-desert plants are mainly ground-hugging shrubs, small wooded trees, and cacti. Plant and animal life is scarcer in the cool desert, where the precipitation falls mainly as snow. Plants are generally scattered mosses and grasses that are able to survive the cold by remaining low to the ground, avoiding the wind, and animal life can include both large and small mammals, such as deer and jackrabbits, as well as a variety of raptors and other birds.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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desert to in the Bible

(1.) Heb. midbar, "pasture-ground;" an open tract for pasturage; a common (Joel 2:22). The "backside of the desert" (Ex. 3:1) is the west of the desert, the region behind a man, as the east is the region in front. The same Hebrew word is rendered "wildernes," and is used of the country lying between Egypt and Palestine (Gen. 21:14, 21; Ex. 4:27; 19:2; Josh. 1:4), the wilderness of the wanderings. It was a grazing tract, where the flocks and herds of the Israelites found pasturage during the whole of their journey to the Promised Land. The same Hebrew word is used also to denote the wilderness of Arabia, which in winter and early spring supplies good pasturage to the flocks of the nomad tribes than roam over it (1 Kings 9:18). The wilderness of Judah is the mountainous region along the western shore of the Dead Sea, where David fed his father's flocks (1 Sam. 17:28; 26:2). Thus in both of these instances the word denotes a country without settled inhabitants and without streams of water, but having good pasturage for cattle; a country of wandering tribes, as distinguished from that of a settled people (Isa. 35:1; 50:2; Jer. 4:11). Such, also, is the meaning of the word "wilderness" in Matt. 3:3; 15:33; Luke 15:4. (2.) The translation of the Hebrew _Aribah'_, "an arid tract" (Isa. 35:1, 6; 40:3; 41:19; 51:3, etc.). The name Arabah is specially applied to the deep valley of the Jordan (the Ghor of the Arabs), which extends from the lake of Tiberias to the Elanitic gulf. While _midbar_ denotes properly a pastoral region, _arabah_ denotes a wilderness. It is also translated "plains;" as "the plains of Jericho" (Josh. 5:10; 2 Kings 25:5), "the plains of Moab" (Num. 22:1; Deut. 34:1, 8), "the plains of the wilderness" (2 Sam. 17:16). (3.) In the Revised Version of Num. 21:20 the Hebrew word _jeshimon_ is properly rendered "desert," meaning the waste tracts on both shores of the Dead Sea. This word is also rendered "desert" in Ps. 78:40; 106:14; Isa. 43:19, 20. It denotes a greater extent of uncultivated country than the other words so rendered. It is especially applied to the desert of the peninsula of Arabia (Num. 21:20; 23:28), the most terrible of all the deserts with which the Israelites were acquainted. It is called "the desert" in Ex. 23:31; Deut. 11:24. (See JESHIMON.) (4.) A dry place; hence a desolation (Ps. 9:6), desolate (Lev. 26:34); the rendering of the Hebrew word _horbah'_. It is rendered "desert" only in Ps. 102:6, Isa. 48:21, and Ezek. 13:4, where it means the wilderness of Sinai. (5.) This word is the symbol of the Jewish church when they had forsaken God (Isa. 40:3). Nations destitute of the knowledge of God are called a "wilderness" (32:15, _midbar_). It is a symbol of temptation, solitude, and persecution (Isa. 27:10, _midbar_; 33:9, _arabah_).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Idioms and Phrases with desert to

desert

In addition to the idiom beginning with desert also see: just deserts
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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