What does Desert mean?

Definitions for Desert
?d?z ?rtDesert

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word Desert.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. desert(verb)

    arid land with little or no vegetation

  2. abandon, forsake, desolate, desert(verb)

    leave someone who needs or counts on you; leave in the lurch

    "The mother deserted her children"

  3. defect, desert(verb)

    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"

  4. desert(verb)

    leave behind

    "the students deserted the campus after the end of exam period"


  1. Desert

    A desert is a barren area of landscape where little precipitation occurs and, consequently, living conditions are hostile for plant and animal life. The lack of vegetation exposes the unprotected surface of the ground to the processes of denudation. About one-third of the land surface of the world is arid or semi-arid. This includes much of the polar regions where little precipitation occurs and which are sometimes called polar deserts or "cold deserts". Deserts can be classified by the amount of precipitation that falls, by the temperature that prevails, by the causes of desertification or by their geographical location. Deserts are formed by weathering processes as large variations in temperature between day and night put strains on the rocks which consequently break in pieces. Although rain seldom occurs in deserts, there are occasional downpours that can result in flash floods. Rain falling on hot rocks can cause them to shatter and the resulting fragments and rubble strewn over the desert floor are further eroded by the wind. This picks up particles of sand and dust and wafts them aloft in sand or dust storms. Wind-blown sand grains striking any solid object in their path can abrade the surface. Rocks are smoothed down, and the wind sorts sand into uniform deposits. The grains end up as level sheets of sand or are piled high in billowing sand dunes. Other deserts are flat, stony plains where all the fine material has been blown away and the surface consists of a mosaic of smooth stones. These areas are known as desert pavements and little further erosion takes place. Other desert features include rock outcrops, exposed bedrock and clays once deposited by flowing water. Temporary lakes may form and salt pans may be left when waters evaporate. There may be underground sources of water in the form of springs and seepages from aquifers. Where these are found, oases can occur. Plants and animals living in the desert need special adaptations to survive in the harsh environment. Plants tend to be tough and wiry with small or no leaves, water-resistant cuticles and often spines to deter herbivory. Some annual plants germinate, bloom and die in the course of a few weeks after rainfall while other long-lived plants survive for years and have deep root systems able to tap underground moisture. Animals need to keep cool and find enough food and water to survive. Many are nocturnal and stay in the shade or underground during the heat of the day. They tend to be efficient at conserving water, extracting most of their needs from their food and concentrating their urine. Some animals remain in a state of dormancy for long periods, ready to become active again during the rare rainfall. They then reproduce rapidly while conditions are favorable before returning to dormancy. People have struggled to live in deserts and the surrounding semi-arid lands for millennia. Nomads have moved their flocks and herds to wherever grazing is available and oases have provided opportunities for a more settled way of life. The cultivation of semi-arid regions encourages erosion of soil and is one of the causes of increased desertification. Desert farming is possible with the aid of irrigation, and the Imperial Valley in California provides an example of how previously barren land can be made productive by the import of water from an outside source. Many trade routes have been forged across deserts, especially across the Sahara Desert, and traditionally were used by caravans of camels carrying salt, gold, ivory and other goods. Large numbers of slaves were also taken northwards across the Sahara. Some mineral extraction also takes place in deserts, and the uninterrupted sunlight gives potential for the capture of large quantities of solar energy.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Desert(noun)

    that which is deserved; the reward or the punishment justly due; claim to recompense, usually in a good sense; right to reward; merit

  2. Desert(noun)

    a deserted or forsaken region; a barren tract incapable of supporting population, as the vast sand plains of Asia and Africa are destitute and vegetation

  3. Desert(noun)

    a tract, which may be capable of sustaining a population, but has been left unoccupied and uncultivated; a wilderness; a solitary place

  4. Desert(adj)

    of or pertaining to a desert; forsaken; without life or cultivation; unproductive; waste; barren; wild; desolate; solitary; as, they landed on a desert island

  5. Desert(verb)

    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

  6. Desert(verb)

    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

  7. Desert(verb)

    to abandon a service without leave; to quit military service without permission, before the expiration of one's term; to abscond

  8. Origin: [F. dsert, L. desertum, from desertus solitary, desert, pp. of deserere to desert; de- + serere to join together. See Series.]


  1. Desert

    A desert is a landscape or region of land that is very dry because of low rainfall amounts, often has little coverage by plants, and in which streams dry up unless they are supplied by water from outside areas. Deserts can also be described as areas where more water is lost by evapotranspiration than falls as precipitation. Desert plants must have special adaptations to survive with this little water. Deserts generally receive less than 250 millimetres of rain each year. Semideserts or steppes are regions which receive between 250 millimetres and 400 to 500 millimetres.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Desert

    de-zėrt′, n. the reward or punishment deserved: claim to reward: merit—adj. Desert′less, without merit. [See Deserve.]

  2. Desert

    de-zėrt′, v.t. to leave: to forsake.—v.i. to run away: to quit a service, as the army, without permission.—ns. Desert′er, one who deserts or quits a service without permission; Deser′tion, act of deserting: state of being deserted: wilful abandonment of a legal or moral duty or obligation. [L. deserĕre, desertumde, neg., and serĕre, to bind.]

  3. Desert

    dez′ėrt, adj. deserted: desolate: uninhabited: uncultivated: a desolate or barren place: a wilderness: a solitude. [O. Fr. desert—L. desertum, deserĕre, to desert, unbind.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. desert

    An extensive tract, either absolutely sterile, or having no other vegetation than small patches of grass or shrubs. Many portions of the present deserts seem to be reclaimable.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. desert

    To quit a service without permission; to run away; as, to desert from the army; to forsake in violation of duty; as, to desert one’s colors.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Desert' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #4789

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Desert' in Nouns Frequency: #1763

  3. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Desert' in Verbs Frequency: #1058

How to pronounce Desert?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say Desert in sign language?

  1. desert


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of Desert in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of Desert in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of Desert in a Sentence

  1. Anuj Somany:

    A person does not get actually rich with own wealth & money, but only upon having the people who don't ditch or desert him/her on the righteous life pitch.

  2. Acting Defence Minister Masoom Stanekzai:

    We needed reorganization. There was a lot of pressure in different parts of Helmand, it was exhausting forces in desert areas where they have less influence on the security of the civilians.

  3. Anuj Somany:

    Forget about the support from others, even own friends and family members desert a person who is consistently true to oneself.

  4. Sagar Kamble:

    Finding true love is like finding the bottle of water in Desert.

  5. Stephen Jay Gould:

    “Speciation does not necessarily promote evolutionary change; rather, speciation 'gathers in' and guards evolutionary change by locking and stabilization for sufficient geological time within a Darwinian individual of the appropriate scale. If a change in a local population does not gain such protection, it becomes—to borrow Dawkins's metaphor at a macroevolutionary scale—a transient duststorm in the desert of time, a passing cloud without borders, integrity, or even the capacity to act as a unit of selection, in the panorama of life's phylogeny.”

Images & Illustrations of Desert

  1. DesertDesertDesertDesertDesert

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Translations for Desert

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