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Legal Dictionary

desert

Definition of desert

Etymology 1

    Middle English from the Old French deserte ("to deserve"). This in turn is from the Vulgar Latin deservire ("to gain or merit by giving service")

Pronunciation

  • IPA: /dɪ'zɜ:t/, SAMPA: /dI"Z3:t/
  • Homophones: dessert

Noun

desert (plural deserts)

  1. (usually in plural) That which is considered to be deserved or merited; a just punishment or reward

Derived terms

  • just deserts

Etymology 2

    French or Old French désert, from Vulgar Latin desertum, from Latin desertus ("left waste"), past participle of deserere ("abandon"), or from the Egyptian dSr.t ("The Red Land")

Pronunciation

  • enPR: dĕ'zə(r)t, IPA: /'dɛzɚt/. SAMPA: /"dEz@(r)t/
  • Audio (US) [?]

Noun

desert (plural deserts)

  1. A barren area of land or desolate terrain, especially one with little water or vegetation; a wasteland.

Etymology 3

    French déserter, from Late Latin desertare, from Latin desertus, from deserere ("abandon")

Pronunciation

  • enPR: dĭzű(r)t', IPA: /dɪ'zɜ:(ɹ)t/, SAMPA: /dI"z3:(r)t/
  • Audio (US) [?]
  • Homophones: dessert

Verb

to desert (third-person singular simple present deserts, present participle deserting, simple past and past participle deserted)

  1. To leave (anything that depends on one's presence to survive, exist, or succeed), especially when contrary to a promise or obligation; to abandon; to forsake.

    You can't just drive off and desert me here, in the middle of nowhere.

  2. To leave one's duty or post, especially to leave a military or naval unit without permission

    Anyone found deserting will be shot.

Derived terms

  • deserter
  • desertion
  • desert or leave a sinking ship

Anagrams

  • Alphagram: deerst
  • deters
  • rested

References:

  1. Wiktionary. Published under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.



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