BrE BrE//ˈdezət//; NAmE NAmE//ˈdezərt//see also deserts [countable, uncountable] a large area of land that has very little water and very few plants growing on it. Many deserts are covered by sand. the Sahara Desert Somalia is mostly desert. burning desert sands (figurative) a cultural desert (= a place without any culture) See related entries: Other geographic regions Word Originnoun Middle English: via Old French from late Latin desertum ‘something left waste’, neuter past participle of deserere ‘leave, forsake’.Extra examples He drove off into the desert. The desert stretched for endless miles on all sides of us. The land loses its protective cover of vegetation and soon turns into desert. The theatre and cinema closed and the town became a cultural desert. The town has become a cultural desert. cold nights in the desert green fields surrounded by arid desert their journey across the desert vast tracts of desert land They travelled many miles across burning desert sands.