- 1Abandon (a person, cause, or organization) in a way considered disloyal or treacherous: he deserted his wife and daughter and went back to EnglandMore example sentences
abandon, leave, turn one's back on; throw over, jilt, break up with; leave high and dry, leave in the lurch, leave behind, strand• literary forsakerenounce, repudiate, relinquish, wash one's hands of, abandon, turn one's back on, betray, disavow• formal abjure• literary forsakeabandoned, thrown over, jilted, cast aside; neglected, stranded, marooned, forlorn, bereft• informal dumped, ditched, dropped• literary forsaken
- Was such a party bound to desert its essential core of supporters, they working class, in its attempt to secure the votes and support of others?
- But now is not the time to desert the Labour Party, now is the time to reclaim it.
- In Germany, opinion polls have indicated that traditional voters are profoundly disillusioned with the Party and are deserting it in droves.
- 1.1(Of a number of people) leave (a place), causing it to appear empty: good weather came after the summer hordes had deserted the beachesMore example sentences
- Naturally, they must drive along a virtually deserted country road.
- We get long, panoramic shots of night-time Paris - rooftops, deserted streets, empty bars and restaurants.
- His door flung open to find an empty couch and deserted living room.
- 1.2(Of a quality or ability) fail (someone), especially at a crucial moment when most needed: her luck deserted herMore example sentences
- That these qualities could desert him so spectacularly at the club's training ground in the face of one legitimate question is revealing, if not even alarming.
- Your lucky number has deserted you and eaten your dignity.
- When the wind hit her as she rounded the top bend, her form and speed deserted her.
- 1.3 [no object] Military (Of a soldier) illegally run away from military service.More example sentences
- After that, the troops began to desert en masse.
- Repeated attempts were made to establish personal contacts with servicemen in order to induce them to desert and surrender.
- Within days the enemy force had either been destroyed, surrendered or deserted.
late Middle English: from Old French deserter, from late Latin desertare, from Latin desertus 'left waste' (see desert2).
- 1A dry, barren area of land, especially one covered with sand, that is characteristically desolate, waterless, and without vegetation.More example sentences
- The world sees the desert as a desolate land offering only hardship and discomfort.
- The land was mostly flat and featureless; even the most desolate of the southern deserts had some rolling sand dunes and some cacti.
- His explorations, surveys and reports, which stated that the north had some excellent pastoral lands and were not just arid sands and saline deserts, attracted pastoralists to the area.
- 1.1A situation or area considered dull and uninteresting: a cultural desertMore example sentences
- There's a thriving energy and excitement about, and the whole perception of the town as a cultural desert is so wrong.
- Within three years, they hope the area will have at least two major arts projects and a host of neighbourhood events which will ensure that huge swathes of planned new homes do not become a cultural desert.
- Image and virtual reality are everything these days, explaining why the city, burdened with an inferiority complex, forever sees itself as a cultural desert.
adjective[attributive] Back to top
- 1Like a desert: overgrazing has created desert conditionsMore example sentences
- In a related story, also in the Telegraph, it seems that the army is to modify 234 tanks - the equivalent of two armoured brigades - for use in desert conditions.
- It has coped well with desert conditions, it has withstood attack from weapons which were designed to defeat it and its gun control equipment has proved to be outstanding.
- The American-designed tanker has the capacity to hold up to 20,000 litres of fuel, and can operate in both arctic and desert conditions.
- 1.1Uninhabited and desolate: desert wastesMore example sentences
- As the Carter family drive across the desert wastes of America, a feral family of savage cannibals attacks them.
- Some wandered in desert wastes, finding no way to an inhabited town hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them.
- Her mouth and throat were as dry as the desert wastes.
- More example sentences
- John was standing on the trunk looking at the desertic view ‘Just a few days ago he thought - I was training with my master in a place like this.’
- The train moves fast across the mountains, it had left the desertic zone of the city behind and everything had turned more green.
- In spite of the desertic climate, a lot of clouds were seen against the clear blue sky.
Middle English: via Old French from late Latin desertum 'something left waste', neuter past participle of deserere 'leave, forsake'.
- A person’s worthiness or entitlement to reward or punishment: the penal system fails to punish offenders in accordance with their desertsMore example sentences
- Now for one thing, it is always very risky to introduce concepts like desert and punishment into one's theology, for if one can deserve hell can one also obtain heaven?
- If directly doing justice is what affirmative action is about, then its mechanisms must be adjusted as best they can to reward individual desert and true merit.
- There must be some clear prima facie reason for punishment in talk of desert over centuries, and in this theory we have such a reason.
get (or receive) one's just deserts
- Receive the appropriate reward or (more usually) punishment for one’s actions: those who caused great torment to others rarely got their just desertsMore example sentences
- ‘If a guy is going out and giving 110 percent of his body to try and succeed, then I want to make sure he gets his just deserts on television,’ says Phil.
- It happens seldom enough that miscreants get their just deserts.
- Short-term, we all feel good that this guy's going to get his just deserts.
Middle English: via Old French from deservir 'serve well' (see deserve).
People who get their just deserts get what they deserve. Deserts here is related to deserve, and is spelled with one -s- in the middle. This usage has no relation to the dessert course of a meal, yet the -ss- spelling (just desserts) is found in the Oxford English Corpus nearly as often as the correct spelling.