desertlike

desert

1 [dez-ert]
noun
1.
a region so arid because of little rainfall that it supports only sparse and widely spaced vegetation or no vegetation at all: The Sahara is a vast sandy desert. waste, wasteland, barren wilderness.
2.
any area in which few forms of life can exist because of lack of water, permanent frost, or absence of soil. wasteland, barren wilderness.
3.
an area of the ocean in which it is believed no marine life exists.
4.
(formerly) any unsettled area between the Mississippi and the Rocky Mountains thought to be unsuitable for human habitation.
5.
any place lacking in something: The town was a cultural desert. wasteland.
adjective
6.
of, pertaining to, or like a desert. desolate; barren, infertile; arid.
7.
occurring, living, or flourishing in the desert: a desert tribe; a desert palm.
8.
designed or suitable for wear in the desert, as cool, protective clothing: a big, wide-brimmed desert hat.

Origin:
1175–1225; Middle English < Anglo-French < Late Latin dēsertum (neuter), noun use of past participle of Latin dēserere to abandon, forsake, equivalent to dē- de- + serere to join together (in a line); cf. series

desertic [dih-zur-tik] , adjective
desertlike, adjective

desert, dessert.


1, 2. Desert, waste, wilderness refer to areas that are largely uninhabited. Desert emphasizes lack of water (though not specifically high temperature); it refers to a dry, barren, treeless region, usually sandy: a high-altitude frozen desert. Waste emphasizes lack of inhabitants and of cultivation; it is used of wild, barren land: a desolate waste. Wilderness emphasizes the difficulty of finding one's way, whether because of barrenness or of dense vegetation: a trackless wilderness.


Desert : A novel by Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2008. The book, first published in French in 1980, was translated into English in 2009.
Operation Desert Storm: An air campaign by the U.S. during the 1990–91 Gulf War.
Conflict: Desert Storm: The first in the Conflict series of video games by game developers Pivotal Games. Released in 2002, it is set during the 1990–91 Gulf War.

“Bedouin women tending flocks of goats are the brightest touch of color in the treeless, waterless, and harsh Negev desert.“
—Ruth Craig, Fodor’s Israel, 6th Edition (2006)
“During this period [Christian Europe] was an intellectual desert, where the mind was uncultivated and permitted to run to waste.“
—W. Tannehill, “Essay on the Literature of the Moors of Spain“ The Hesperian, Volume 2 (1838)
“In some places mudflats stretch along the ground, tortured and cracked by the dry desert air.“
—Fred Punzo, Desert Arthropods: Life History Variations (2000)
“A long line of more than a score of camels was something in itself, not to mention the riders in their desert costume.“
—Alexander Wallace, The Desert and the Holy Land (1868)
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
desert1 (ˈdɛzət)
 
n
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
 
[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)
 
vb
1.  (tr) 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.  (tr) to fail (someone) in time of need: his good humour temporarily deserted him
4.  (tr) Scots law to give up or postpone (a case or charge)
 
[C15: from French déserter, from Late Latin dēsertāre, from Latin dēserere to forsake; see desert1]
 
de'serter2
 
n
 
de'serted2
 
adj

desert3 (dɪˈzɜːt)
 
n
1.  (often plural) something that is deserved or merited; just reward or punishment
2.  the state of deserving a reward or punishment
3.  virtue or merit
 
[C13: from Old French deserte, from deservir to deserve]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

desert
"to leave," late 14c., from O.Fr. deserter "leave," lit. "undo or sever connection," from L.L. desertare, freq. of L. deserere "to abandon," from de- "undo" + serere "join" (see series). Military sense is first recorded 1640s.

desert
"wasteland," early 13c., from O.Fr. desert, from L.L. desertum, lit. "thing abandoned" (used in Vulgate to translate "wilderness"), n. use of neut. pp. of L. deserere "forsake" (see desert (v.)). Sense of "waterless, treeless region" was in M.E. 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.

desert
"suitable reward or punishment" (now usually plural and just), c.1300, from O.Fr. deserte, pp. of deservir "be worthy to have," from L. deservire "serve well" (see deserve).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
desert   (děz'ərt)  Pronunciation Key 
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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Easton
Bible Dictionary

Desert definition


(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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