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De*sert", n. Etym: [OF. deserte, desserte, merit, recompense, fr. deservir, desservir, to merit. See Deserve.]

Defn: 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.

-- Merit; worth; excellence; due.

Des"ert, n. Etym: [F. désert, 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 are destitute 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. Etym: [Cf. L. desertus, p. p. of deserere, and F. désert. See 2d Desert.]

Defn: 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 (Zoöl.), a small hare (Lepus sylvaticus, var. Arizonæ) inhabiting the deserts of the Western United States.
-- Desert mouse (Zoöl.), an American mouse (Hesperomys eremicus), living in the Western deserts.

De*sert", v. t. [imp. & p. p. Deserted; p. pr. & vb. n. Deserting.] Etym: [Cf. L. desertus, p. p. of deserere to desert, F. déserter. 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.

2. (Mil.)

Defn: 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.

Defn: 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.

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

In other languages, the word for "desert" is:

Chamorro: desietto

---excerpt from the Illustrated Bible Dictionary.

Desert -
(1.) Heb. midbar , pasture-ground; an open tract for pasturage; a common (Joel 2:22). The "backside of the desert" (Exodus 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 "wilderness," and is used of the country lying between Egypt and Palestine (Genesis 21:14, Genesis 21:21; (Exodus 4:27; Exodus 19:2; Joshua 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 9:18). The wilderness of Judah is the mountainous region along the western shore of the Dead Sea, where David fed his father's flocks (1 Samuel 17:28; 1 Samuel 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 (Isaiah 35:1; Isaiah 50:2; Jeremiah 4:11). Such, also is the meaning of the word "wilderness" in Matthew 3:3; Matthew 15:33; Luke 15:4.
(2.) The translation of the Hebrew Aribah' , an arid tract (Isaiah 35:1, Isaiah 35:6; Isaiah 40:3; Isaiah 41:19; Isaiah 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" (Joshua 5:10; 2 Kings 25:5), "the plains of Moab" (Numbers 22:1; Deuteronomy 34:1, Deuteronomy 34:8), "the plains of the wilderness" (2 Samuel 17:16).
(3.) In the Revised Version of Numbers 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 Psalms 78:40; Psalms 106:14; Isaiah 43:19, Isaiah 43:20. 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 (Numbers 21:20; Numbers 23:28), the most terrible of all the deserts with which the Israelites were acquainted. It is called "the desert" in Exodus 23:31; Deuteronomy 11:24. (See [[Category:Jeshimon|JESHIMON].)
(4.) A dry place; hence a desolation (Psalms 9:6), desolate (Leviticus 26:34); the rendering of the Hebrew word horbah' . It is rendered "desert" only in Psalms 102:6, Isaiah 48:21, and Ezekiel 13:4, where it means the wilderness of Sinai.
(5.) This word is the symbol of the Jewish church when they had forsaken God (Isaiah 40:3). Nations destitute of the knowledge of God are called a "wilderness" (Isaiah 32:15, midbar). It is a symbol of temptation, solitude, and persecution (Isaiah 27:10, midbar; Isaiah 33:9, arabah).

Media in category "Desert"

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