desert

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See also: désert, desèrt, and deșert

English[edit]

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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English desert, deseert, from Old French deserte, from deservir (to deserve), from Vulgar Latin dēserviō (to gain or merit by giving service).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

desert (plural deserts)

  1. (usually in the 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.
    • 1609, William Shakespeare, Sonnet 17:
      Who will believe my verse in time to come,
      If it were fill'd with your most high deserts?
    • 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!"
    • July 4, 1789, Alexander Hamilton, Eulogium on Major-General Greene
      His reputation falls far below his desert.
    • 1971 John Rawls, A Theory of Justice
      "It is true that certain common sense precepts of justice, particularly those which concern the protection of liberties and rights, or which express the claims of desert, seem to contradict this contention."
Usage notes[edit]

Sometimes confused with dessert, especially in set phrases such as just deserts.

Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English desert (wilderness), from Old French desert, from Latin dēsertum, past participle of dēserō (to abandon).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

desert (countable and uncountable, plural deserts)

a desert on Mars
  1. A barren area of land or desolate terrain, especially one with little water or vegetation; a wasteland.
    • 1713, Alexander Pope, Windsor Forest:
      Not thus the land appear'd in ages past, / A dreary desert and a gloomy waste.
    • 1892, James Yoxall, chapter 5, in 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. (figurative) 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.
    • 1964 March, “News and Comment: Which way to the West?”, in Modern Railways, page 147:
      By contrast, the WR route is an economic desert between Newbury and Taunton.
    • 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?

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Adjective[edit]

desert (not comparable)

  1. Usually of a place: abandoned, deserted, or uninhabited.
    They were marooned on a desert island in the Pacific.
    • 1611, Bible (King James Version), Luke ix. 10
      He [] went aside privately into a desert place.
    • 1697, “The Eighth Book of the Æneis”, in John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. [], London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], OCLC 403869432, lines 252–255, page 441:
      See, from afar, yon Rock that mates the Sky, / About whoſe Feet ſuch Heaps of Rubbiſh lye: / Such indigeſted Ruin; bleak and bare, / How deſart now it ſtands, expos'd in Air!
    • 1750, Thomas Gray, "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard", Stanza 14:
      Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, / And waste its sweetness on the desert air.
Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

Borrowed from French déserter, from Late Latin desertō, from Latin desertus, from deserō (abandon).

Pronunciation[edit]

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 punished.
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Catalan[edit]

Etymology[edit]

First attested 14th century[1]. From Latin dēsertum, possibly a semi-learned term.

Noun[edit]

desert m (plural deserts)

  1. desert (desolate terrain)

Further reading[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ “desert” in Gran Diccionari de la Llengua Catalana, Grup Enciclopèdia Catalana.

Friulian[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin dēsertum (in this form possibly a semi-learned term; cf. the variant form).

Noun[edit]

desert m (plural deserts)

  1. desert

Middle English[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Old French deserte (deserved), from deservir (to deserve), from Vulgar Latin dēserviō (to gain or merit by giving service).

Alternative forms[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /dɛːˈzɛrt/, /dɛˈzɛrt/, /-sɛrt/

Noun[edit]

desert (plural desertes)

  1. The situation of deserving something.
  2. That which is deserved or merited; desert.
  3. An action or deed which invites or prompts judgement.
  4. worth, virtuousness, benefit; that which is good.
Descendants[edit]
  • English: desert
References[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Old French desert, from Latin dēsertum, past participle of dēserō (to abandon).

Alternative forms[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈdɛzɛrt/, /dɛˈzɛrt/, /dɛː-/, /-sɛrt/, /-art/

Noun[edit]

desert (plural desertes)

  1. wilderness (unpopulated, bare land)
    • c. 1395, John Wycliffe, John Purvey [et al.], transl., Bible (Wycliffite Bible (later version), MS Lich 10.)‎[1], published c. 1410, Joon 1:23, page 43v, column 1; republished as Wycliffe's translation of the New Testament, Lichfield: Bill Endres, 2010:
      he ſeide / I am a vois of a crier in deſert .· dꝛeſſe ȝe þe weie of þe loꝛd. as yſaie þe pꝛophete ſeide
      He said: "I am the voice of a crier in the wilderness; straighten the way of the Lord, as the prophet Isaiah said."
Descendants[edit]
References[edit]

Adjective[edit]

desert

  1. (of places) barren, wild
  2. (usually of places) deserted, abandoned
Descendants[edit]
References[edit]

Middle French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old French desert.

Noun[edit]

desert m (plural desers)

  1. desert (desolate terrain)

Descendants[edit]


Old French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Probably borrowed from Latin dēsertum.

Noun[edit]

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

  1. desert (desolate terrain)

Descendants[edit]


Romanian[edit]

Noun[edit]

desert n (plural deserturi)

  1. dessert
Declension[edit]

Serbo-Croatian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from French dessert.

Pronunciation[edit]

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

Noun[edit]

dèsert m (Cyrillic spelling дѐсерт)

  1. dessert

Declension[edit]

Antonyms[edit]

References[edit]

  • desert” in Hrvatski jezični portal