desert


From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Desert \De*sert"\ (d[-e]*z[~e]rt"), n. [OF. deserte, desserte,
   merit, recompense, fr. deservir, desservir, to merit. See
   Deserve.]
   That which is deserved; the reward or the punishment justly
   due; claim to recompense, usually in a good sense; right to
   reward; merit.
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         According to their deserts will I judge them. --Ezek.
                                                  vii. 27.
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         Andronicus, surnamed Pius
         For many good and great deserts to Rome. --Shak.
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         His reputation falls far below his desert. --A.
                                                  Hamilton.

   Syn: Merit; worth; excellence; due.
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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

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, as the vast sand plains of Asia and
      Africa which are destitute of moisture and vegetation.
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            A dreary desert and a gloomy waste.   --Pope.
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   2. A tract, which may be capable of sustaining a population,
      but has been left unoccupied and uncultivated; a
      wilderness; a solitary place.
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            He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her
            desert like the garden of the Lord.   --Is. li. 3.
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   Note: Also figuratively.
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               Before her extended
               Dreary and vast and silent, the desert of life.
                                                  --Longfellow.
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.

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

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 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." --Prescott.
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   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.
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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

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.
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         He . . . went aside privately into a desert place.
                                                  --Luke ix. 10.
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         Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
         And waste its sweetness on the desert air. --Gray.
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   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.
      Arizon[ae]) inhabiting the deserts of the Western United
      States.

   Desert mouse (Zool.), an American mouse ({Hesperomys
      eremicus}), living in the Western deserts.
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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Desert \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.
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         The soldiers . . . deserted in numbers.  --Bancroft.

   Syn: To abandon; forsake; leave; relinquish; renounce; quit;
        depart from; abdicate. See Abandon.
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