noun , verb
/ ˈdezət; NAmE ˈdezərt/
—see also deserts [ C , U ] a large area of land that has very little water and very few plants growing on it. Many deserts are covered by sand :
the Sahara Desert
Somalia is mostly desert.
burning desert sands
( figurative )
a cultural desert (= a place without any culture)
■ verb / dɪˈzɜːt; NAmE dɪˈzɜːrt/
[ vn ] to leave sb without help or support
SYN abandon :
She was deserted by her husband.
[ vn ] [ often passive ] to go away from a place and leave it empty
SYN abandon :
The villages had been deserted.
The owl seems to have deserted its nest.
to leave the armed forces without permission :
[ v ]
Large numbers of soldiers deserted as defeat became inevitable.
[also vn ]
[ vn ] to stop using, buying or supporting sth :
Why did you desert teaching for politics?
[ vn ] if a particular quality deserts you, it is not there when you need it :
Her courage seemed to desert her for a moment.
► de·ser·tion / dɪˈzɜːʃn; NAmE -ˈzɜːr-/ noun [ U , C ]:
She felt betrayed by her husband's desertion.
The army was badly affected by desertions.
see sink verb
verb late Middle English : from Old French deserter , from late Latin desertare , from Latin desertus left waste from deserere leave, forsake.
noun Middle English : via Old French from late Latin desertum something left waste, neuter past participle of deserere leave, forsake.