desert

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See also: dessert, désert, and deșert

English[edit]

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Etymology 1[edit]

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

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

desert (plural deserts)

  1. (usually in plural) That which is deserved or merited; a just punishment or reward
    • 1600, John Dowland, Flow My Tears
      From the highest spire of contentment / my fortune is thrown; / and fear and grief and pain for my deserts / are my hopes, since hope is gone.
    • 1897, Bram Stoker, Dracula Chapter 21
      "Nonsense, Mina. It is a shame to me to hear such a word. I would not hear it of you. And I shall not hear it from you. May God judge me by my deserts, and punish me with more bitter suffering than even this hour, if by any act or will of mine anything ever come between us!"
    • A. Hamilton
      His reputation falls far below his desert.
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

French désert or Old French desert, from Vulgar Latin desertum, from Latin dēsertus (left waste), past participle of dēserō (to abandon), possibly influenced in meaning by ancient Egyptian dšrt (red land, Sahara).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

desert (plural deserts)

  1. A barren area of land or desolate terrain, especially one with little water or vegetation; a wasteland.
    • Alexander Pope (1688-1744)
      Not thus the land appear'd in ages past, / A dreary desert and a gloomy waste.
    • 1892, James Yoxall, chapter 5, The Lonely Pyramid:
      The desert storm was riding in its strength; the travellers lay beneath the mastery of the fell simoom. Whirling wreaths and columns of burning wind, rushed around and over them.
  2. (figuratively) Any barren place or situation.
    • 1858, William Howitt, Land, Labour, and Gold; Or, Two Years in Victoria (page 54)
      He declared that the country was an intellectual desert; that he was famishing for spiritual aliment, and for discourse on matters beyond mere nuggets, prospectings, and the price of gold.
    • 2006, Philip N. Cooke, Creative Industries in Wales: Potential and Pitfalls (page 34)
      So the question that is commonly asked is, why put a media incubator in a media desert and have it managed by a civil servant?
Translations[edit]

Adjective[edit]

desert (not comparable)

  1. Abandoned, deserted, or uninhabited; usually of a place.
    They were marooned on a desert island in the Pacific.
    • Bible, Luke ix. 10
      He [] went aside privately into a desert place.
    • Gray
      Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, / And waste its sweetness on the desert air.
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

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

Pronunciation[edit]

  • enPR: dĭzû(r)t', IPA(key): /dɪˈzɜː(ɹ)t/
  • (file)

Verb[edit]

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[edit]
Translations[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Catalan[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin dēsertum.

Noun[edit]

desert m (plural deserts)

  1. desert (desolate terrain)

Friulian[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin dēsertum.

Noun[edit]

desert m (plural deserts)

  1. desert

Middle French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin dēsertum.

Noun[edit]

desert m (plural desers)

  1. desert (desolate terrain)

Old French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin dēsertum.

Noun[edit]

desert m (oblique plural deserz or desertz, nominative singular deserz or desertz, nominative plural desert)

  1. desert (desolate terrain)

Serbo-Croatian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From French dessert.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /děsert/
  • Hyphenation: de‧sert

Noun[edit]

dèsert m (Cyrillic spelling дѐсерт)

  1. dessert

Declension[edit]

References[edit]

  • desert” in Hrvatski jezični portal