verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
Origin of desert2
- "There used to be two kinds of kisses: First when girls were kissed and deserted; second, when they were engaged. Now there's a third kind, where the man is kissed and deserted."-F. Scott Fitzgerald This Side of Paradise (1920)
- "Girty had deserted his military post at Port Pitt, and become an outlaw of his own volition."-Zane Grey The Spirit of the Border (1906)
- "I had a strong and comforting faith that I should be able to organize and conduct an Administration which would satisfy and win the country. This faith never deserted me."-Rutherford B. Hayes ed. Charles Richard Williams Diary (January 23, 1881) Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes: Nineteenth President of the United States, vol. III (1922-1926)
- "[A]ll she knew was that her father had deserted from the Soviet army many years before. She believed that to be the reason he was in hiding."-Steve Martini Guardian of Lies (2009)
Related Words for deserterdefector, escapee, criminal, lawbreaker, renegade, maroon, refugee, absconder, betrayer, shirker, traitor, apostate, recreant, derelict, truant, slacker, runaway, delinquent, AWOL, no-show
Examples from the Web for deserter
Contemporary Examples of deserter
Somebody on Twitter made a big deal out of the fact that I put the word “deserter” in quotes.
Republicans are hitting the pipe big time on the ‘deserter’—and their creepy bottom line is that he should have been left to die.
People can believe he is a deserter all they want, and maybe he is.
And that the truth is: Bergdahl was a deserter, and soldiers from his own unit died trying to track him down.We Lost Soldiers in the Hunt for Bergdahl, a Guy Who Walked Off in the Dead of Night
Nathan Bradley Bethea
June 2, 2014
He had originally claimed to be a deserter, but was nabbed by the FSA after being spotted talking with military intelligence.Despite Pledge, Syrian Rebels Continue to Torture
August 15, 2012
Historical Examples of deserter
Upon the line of baseness,—the deserter is placed next to the traitor.Memoirs of the Court of St. Cloud, Complete
I shall remain where I am; I may as well be shot as a deserter.The Downfall
There was nothing of importance to be done, but he felt a little like a deserter, nevertheless.Cap'n Eri
Joseph Crosby Lincoln
I, who owed my commission to his noble name, was a republican, a deserter!The Strollers
Frederic S. Isham
Indeed, I had only to say anywhere I was a deserter, and every one was kind to me.Tony Butler
Charles James Lever
Word Origin for desert
Word Origin for desert
Word Origin for desert
1630s, agent noun from desert (v.).
"to leave one's duty," late 14c., from Old French deserter (12c.) "leave," literally "undo or sever connection," from Late Latin desertare, frequentative of Latin deserere "to abandon, to leave, forsake, give up, leave in the lurch," from de- "undo" (see de-) + serere "join together, put in a row" (see series). Military sense is first recorded 1640s. Related: Deserted; deserting.
"wasteland," early 13c., from Old French desert (12c.) "desert, wilderness, wasteland; destruction, ruin," from Late Latin desertum (source of Italian diserto, Old Provençal dezert, Spanish desierto), literally "thing abandoned" (used in Vulgate to translate "wilderness"), noun use of neuter past participle of Latin deserere "forsake" (see desert (v.)).
Sense of "waterless, treeless region" was in Middle English and gradually became the main meaning. Commonly spelled desart in 18c., which is not etymological but at least avoids confusion with the other two senses of the word. Classical Latin indicated this idea with deserta, plural of desertus.
"suitable reward or punishment" (now usually plural and with just), c.1300, from Old French deserte, noun use of past participle of deservir "be worthy to have," ultimately from Latin deservire "serve well" (see deserve).
A Closer Look: A desert is defined not by temperature but by the sparse amount of water found in a region. An area with an annual rainfall of fewer than 25 centimeters (9.75 inches) generally qualifies as a desert. In spite of the dryness, however, some animals and plants have adapted to desert life and thrive in these harsh environments. While different animals live in different types of deserts, the dominant animals of warm deserts are reptiles, including snakes and lizards, small mammals, such as ground squirrels and mice, and arthropods, such as scorpions and beetles. These animals are usually nocturnal, spending the day resting in the shade of plants or burrowed in the ground, and emerging in the evenings to hunt or eat. Warm-desert plants are mainly ground-hugging shrubs, small wooded trees, and cacti. Plant and animal life is scarcer in the cool desert, where the precipitation falls mainly as snow. Plants are generally scattered mosses and grasses that are able to survive the cold by remaining low to the ground, avoiding the wind, and animal life can include both large and small mammals, such as deer and jackrabbits, as well as a variety of raptors and other birds.
In addition to the idiom beginning with desert
- desert a sinking ship
- just deserts