desert ( deserts plural & 3rd person present) ( deserting present participle) ( deserted past tense & past participle )
The noun is pronounced [PH:d][PH:e][PH:z][PH:&][PH:r][PH:t]. The verb is pronounced [PH:d][PH:I][PH:z][PH:3][PH::][PH:r][PH:t] and is hyphenated de+sert.
1 n-var A desert is a large area of land, usually in a hot region, where there is almost no water, rain, trees, or plants.
oft in names after n
...the Sahara Desert., ...the burning desert sun...
2 verb If people or animals desert a place, they leave it and it becomes empty.
Farmers are deserting their fields and coming here looking for jobs... V n
She led them into a deserted sidestreet.
3 verb If someone deserts you, they go away and leave you, and no longer help or support you.
Mrs Roding's husband deserted her years ago... V n
desertion ( desertions plural) n-var
...her father's desertion.
4 verb If you desert something that you support, use, or are involved with, you stop supporting it, using it, or being involved with it.
The paper's price rise will encourage readers to desert in even greater numbers... V
He was pained to see many youngsters deserting kibbutz life... V n
Spaniards are worried about German investors deserting Spain for Eastern Europe. V n for n
...a mass desertion of the Party by the electorate.
5 verb If a quality or skill that you normally have deserts you, you suddenly find that you do not have it when you need it or want it.
Even when he appeared to be depressed, a dry sense of humour never deserted him... V n
She lost the next five games, and the set, as her confidence abruptly deserted her. V n
6 verb If someone deserts, or deserts a job, especially a job in the armed forces, they leave that job without permission.
He was a second-lieutenant in the army until he deserted... V
He deserted from army intelligence last month... V from n
The high rate of desertion has added to the army's woes...
7 If you say that someone has got their just deserts, you mean that they deserved the unpleasant things that have happened to them, because they did something bad.
get your just deserts phrase
At the end of the book the child's true identity is discovered, and the bad guys get their just deserts.
desert island ( desert islands plural ) A desert island is a small tropical island, where nobody lives. n-count