De·sert n. That which is deserved; the reward or the punishment justly due; claim to recompense, usually in a good sense; right to reward; merit.
According to their deserts will I judge them. --Ezek. vii. 27.
Andronicus, surnamed Pius
For many good and great deserts to Rome. --Shak.
His reputation falls far below his desert. --A. Hamilton.
Syn: -- Merit; worth; excellence; due.
1. A deserted or forsaken region; a barren tract incapable of supporting population, as the vast sand plains of Asia and Africa which are destitute of moisture and vegetation.
A dreary desert and a gloomy waste. --Pope.
2. A tract, which may be capable of sustaining a population, but has been left unoccupied and uncultivated; a wilderness; a solitary place.
He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord. --Is. li. 3.
Note: Also figuratively.
Before her extended
Dreary and vast and silent, the desert of life. --Longfellow.
Des·ert, a. Of or pertaining to a desert; forsaken; without life or cultivation; unproductive; waste; barren; wild; desolate; solitary; as, they landed on a desert island.
He . . . went aside privately into a desert place. --Luke ix. 10.
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air. --Gray.
Desert flora Bot., the assemblage of plants growing naturally in a desert, or in a dry and apparently unproductive place.
Desert hare Zool., a small hare (Lepus sylvaticus, var. Arizonæ) inhabiting the deserts of the Western United States.
Desert mouse Zool., an American mouse (Hesperomys eremicus), living in the Western deserts.
De·sert v. t. [imp. & p. p. Deserted; p. pr. & vb. n. Deserting.]
1. To leave (especially something which one should stay by and support); to leave in the lurch; to abandon; to forsake; -- implying blame, except sometimes when used of localities; as, to desert a friend, a principle, a cause, one's country. “The deserted fortress.”
2. Mil. To abandon (the service) without leave; to forsake in violation of duty; to abscond from; as, to desert the army; to desert one's colors.
De·sert, v. i. To abandon a service without leave; to quit military service without permission, before the expiration of one's term; to abscond.
The soldiers . . . deserted in numbers. --Bancroft.
Syn: -- To abandon; forsake; leave; relinquish; renounce; quit; depart from; abdicate. See Abandon.
4. being left by another without support or assistance; left in the lurch; -- of people; as, deserted wives and children.
Note: In this sense, the label implies some level of dependence of the person(s) being deserted on those deserting them.
adj : located in a dismal or remote area; desolate; "a desert
island"; "a godforsaken wilderness crossroads"; "a wild
stretch of land"; "waste places" [syn: godforsaken, waste,
n : an arid region with little or no vegetation
v 1: leave someone who needs or counts on you; leave in the
lurch; "The mother deserted her children" [syn: abandon,
2: desert (a cause, a country or an army), often in order to
join the opposing cause, country, or army; "If soldiers
deserted Hitler's army, they were shot" [syn: defect]
(1.) Heb. midbar, "pasture-ground;" an open tract for pasturage;
a common (Joel 2:22). The "backside of the desert" (Ex. 3:1) is
the west of the desert, the region behind a man, as the east is
the region in front. The same Hebrew word is rendered
"wildernes," and is used of the country lying between Egypt and
Palestine (Gen. 21:14, 21; Ex. 4:27; 19:2; Josh. 1:4), the
wilderness of the wanderings. It was a grazing tract, where the
flocks and herds of the Israelites found pasturage during the
whole of their journey to the Promised Land.
The same Hebrew word is used also to denote the wilderness of
Arabia, which in winter and early spring supplies good pasturage
to the flocks of the nomad tribes than roam over it (1 Kings
The wilderness of Judah is the mountainous region along the
western shore of the Dead Sea, where David fed his father's
flocks (1 Sam. 17:28; 26:2). Thus in both of these instances the
word denotes a country without settled inhabitants and without
streams of water, but having good pasturage for cattle; a
country of wandering tribes, as distinguished from that of a
settled people (Isa. 35:1; 50:2; Jer. 4:11). Such, also, is the
meaning of the word "wilderness" in Matt. 3:3; 15:33; Luke 15:4.
(2.) The translation of the Hebrew _Aribah'_, "an arid tract"
(Isa. 35:1, 6; 40:3; 41:19; 51:3, etc.). The name Arabah is
specially applied to the deep valley of the Jordan (the Ghor of
the Arabs), which extends from the lake of Tiberias to the
Elanitic gulf. While _midbar_ denotes properly a pastoral
region, _arabah_ denotes a wilderness. It is also translated
"plains;" as "the plains of Jericho" (Josh. 5:10; 2 Kings 25:5),
"the plains of Moab" (Num. 22:1; Deut. 34:1, 8), "the plains of
the wilderness" (2 Sam. 17:16).
(3.) In the Revised Version of Num. 21:20 the Hebrew word
_jeshimon_ is properly rendered "desert," meaning the waste
tracts on both shores of the Dead Sea. This word is also
rendered "desert" in Ps. 78:40; 106:14; Isa. 43:19, 20. It
denotes a greater extent of uncultivated country than the other
words so rendered. It is especially applied to the desert of the
peninsula of Arabia (Num. 21:20; 23:28), the most terrible of
all the deserts with which the Israelites were acquainted. It is
called "the desert" in Ex. 23:31; Deut. 11:24. (See JESHIMON.)
(4.) A dry place; hence a desolation (Ps. 9:6), desolate (Lev.
26:34); the rendering of the Hebrew word _horbah'_. It is
rendered "desert" only in Ps. 102:6, Isa. 48:21, and Ezek. 13:4,
where it means the wilderness of Sinai.
(5.) This word is the symbol of the Jewish church when they
had forsaken God (Isa. 40:3). Nations destitute of the knowledge
of God are called a "wilderness" (32:15, _midbar_). It is a
symbol of temptation, solitude, and persecution (Isa. 27:10,
_midbar_; 33:9, _arabah_).