Ⅰ. des·ert1 (dĕz’ərt)
n. 1) A barren or desolate area, especially: a) A dry, often sandy region of little rainfall, extreme temperatures, and sparse vegetation. b) A region of permanent cold that is largely or entirely devoid of life. c) An apparently lifeless area of water. 2) An empty or forsaken place; a wasteland: »

a cultural desert.

3) Archaic A wild, uncultivated, and uninhabited region.
adj. 1) Of, relating to, characteristic of, or inhabiting a desert: »

desert fauna.

2) Barren and uninhabited; desolate: »

a desert island.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin dēsertum, from neuter past participle of dēserere, to desert; see DESERT(Cf. ↑desert)3.]
top: Sahara desert erg
Ubari, Libya
bottom: Antarctic desert
Ross Island, Antarctica
Ⅱ. de·sert2 (dĭ-zûrt’)
n. 1) often deserts Something that is deserved or merited, especially a punishment: »

They got their just deserts when the scheme was finally uncovered.

2) The state or fact of deserving reward or punishment.
[Middle English, from Old French deserte, from feminine past participle of deservir, to deserve; see DESERVE(Cf. deserve).]
Word History: When Shakespeare says in Sonnet 72, "Unless you would devise some virtuous lie, / To do more for me than mine own desert," he is using the word desert in the sense of "worthiness; merit," a word perhaps most familiar to us in the plural, meaning "something that is deserved," as in the phrase just deserts. This word goes back to the Latin word dēservīre, "to devote oneself to the service of," which in Vulgar Latin came to mean "to merit by service." Dēservīre is made up of dē-, meaning "thoroughly," and servīre, "to serve." Knowing this, we can distinguish this desert from desert, "a wasteland," and desert, "to abandon," both of which go back to Latin dēserere, "to forsake, leave uninhabited," which is made up of dē-, expressing the notion of undoing, and the verb serere, "to link together." We can also distinguish all three deserts from dessert, "a sweet course at the end of a meal," which is from the French word desservir, "to clear the table." Desservir is made up of des-, expressing the notion of reversal, and servir (from Latin servīre), "to serve," hence, "to unserve" or "to clear the table."
Ⅲ. de·sert3 (dĭ-zûrt’)
v. de·sert·ed, de·sert·ing, de·serts
v. tr. 1) To leave empty or alone; abandon. 2) To withdraw from, especially in spite of a responsibility or duty; forsake: »

deserted her friend in a time of need.

3) To abandon (a military post, for example) in violation of orders or an oath.
v. intr. To forsake one's duty or post, especially to be absent without leave from the armed forces with no intention of returning.
[French déserter, from Late Latin dēsertāre, frequentative of Latin dēserere, to abandon : dē-, de- + serere, to join; see ser-2.]
de·sert’er n.

Word Histories. 2014.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Desert — Désert Pour les articles homonymes, voir Désert (homonymie). Vallée de la mort (en Californie …   Wikipédia en Français

  • désert — désert, erte 1. (dé zêr, dé zèr t ) adj. 1°   Qui est sauvage et sans habitants. Une campagne déserte. île déserte. •   C est un instinct commun à tous les êtres sensibles et souffrants de se réfugier dans les lieux les plus sauvages et les plus… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • deşert — DEŞÉRT, ÁRTĂ, (1) deşerţi, arte, adj., (II) deşerturi, s.n. I. adj. 1. Care nu conţine nimic în interior; gol. 2. (Despre terenuri, ţări, regiuni) Lipsit de vietăţi şi de vegetaţie; pustiu. ♦ Nelocuit, nepopulat. 3. fig. Lipsit de temei; amăgitor …   Dicționar Român

  • Desert — Des ert, a. [Cf. L. desertus, p. p. of deserere, and F. d[ e]sert. See 2d {Desert}.] Of or pertaining to a desert; forsaken; without life or cultivation; unproductive; waste; barren; wild; desolate; solitary; as, they landed on a desert island.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • désert — DÉSERT, ERTE. adj. Inhabité, ou qui n est guère fréquenté. Lieu désert. Ville déserte. Campagne déserte. [b]f♛/b] On dit au Palais, qu Un appel est désert, Quand celui qui l a interjeté, ne l a pas relevé par lettres dans les trois mois. [b]f♛/b] …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • Desert — Des ert (d[e^]z [ e]rt), n. [F. d[ e]sert, L. desertum, from desertus solitary, desert, pp. of deserere to desert; de + serere to join together. See {Series}.] 1. A deserted or forsaken region; a barren tract incapable of supporting population,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Desert — De*sert (d[ e]*z[ e]rt ), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Deserted}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Deserting}.] [Cf. L. desertus, p. p. of deserere to desert, F. d[ e]serter. See 2d {Desert}.] 1. To leave (especially something which one should stay by and support); to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Désert — (franz. für Wüste) ist der Name folgender Personen: Alex Désert (* 1968), US amerikanischer Schauspieler, Musiker und Synchronsprecher Claire Désert (* 1967), französische Pianistin Solen Désert Mariller (* 1982), französischer Kurzstreckenläufer …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • desert — DESERT, [des]erte. adj. Inhabité, qui n est guere frequenté. Lieu desert. ville deserte. campagne deserte. l Arabie deserte. Il est aussi substantif, & signifie un lieu desert. Desert sauvage. desert effroyable. les deserts de l Arabie. les… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • desert — DESÉRT, deserturi, s.n. Fel de mâncare, de obicei dulciuri, fructe, brânzeturi etc., care se serveşte la sfârşitul mesei; timpul când se serveşte această mâncare. – Din fr. dessert. Trimis de IoanSoleriu, 12.07.2004. Sursa: DEX 98  desért s. n …   Dicționar Român

  • desert — Ⅰ. desert [1] ► VERB 1) leave without help or support; abandon. 2) leave (a place), causing it to appear empty. 3) illegally run away from military service. DERIVATIVES desertion noun. ORIGIN Latin desert …   English terms dictionary

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