- 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, give up, cast off, turn one's back on; throw over, betray, jilt, break (up) with; neglect, shun; leave high and dry, leave in the lurch, leave behind, strand, leave stranded, maroon; relinquish, renounceBritish • informal give someone the push, give someone the big E, bin off• archaic forsakerenounce, renege on, repudiate, forswear, relinquish, wash one's hands of, have no more truck with, have done with, abjure, disavow; abandon, turn one's back on, betray; apostatize, recant• archaic forsake• rare disprofessabandoned, forsaken, cast off/aside, thrown over, betrayed, jilted; shunned, neglected; stranded, marooned; relinquished, renounced; forlorn, bereft
- 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 people) leave (a place), causing it to appear empty: the tourists have 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) 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 Illegally leave the armed forces: his life in the regiment had been such a hell that he decided to desertMore 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 waterless, desolate area of land with little or no vegetation, typically one covered with sand: the desert of the Sinai peninsula is a harsh place [mass noun]: drought and deforestation are turning fragile grasslands into desertMore 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 place 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.
Middle English: via Old French from late Latin desertum 'something left waste', neuter past participle of deserere 'leave, forsake'.