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American Dictionary of the English Language

Webster's Dictionary 1828

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Desert


DESERT, adjective S as z [Latin To sow, plant or scatter.]

1. Literally, forsaken; hence, uninhabited; as a desert isle. Hence, wild; untilled; waste; uncultivated; as a desert land or country.

2. Void; emprty; unoccupied.

Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, and waste its sweetness on the desert air.

DESERT, noun An uninhabited tract of land; a region in its natural state; a wilderness; a solitude; particularly, a vast sandy plain, as the deserts of Arabia and Africa. But the word may be applied to an uninhabited country covered with wood.

DESERT, verb transitive [Latin To forsake.]

1. To forsake; to leave utterly; to abandon; to quit with a view not to return to; as, to desert a friend; to desert our country; to desert a cause.

2. To leave, without permission, a military band, or a ship, in which one is enlisted; to forsake the service in which one is engaged, in violation of duty; as, to desert the army; to desert ones colors; to desert a ship.

DESERT, verb intransitive To run away; to quit a service without permission; as, to desert from the army.

DESERT, noun

1. A deserving; that which gives a right to reward or demands, or which renders liable to punishment; merit or demerit; that which entitles to a recompense of equal to the offense; good conferred, or evil done, which merits an equivalent return. A wise legislature will reward or punish men according to their deserts.

2. That which is deserved; reward or punishment merited. In a future life, every man will receive his desert