Definition of desert verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    desert

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//dɪˈzɜːt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈzɜːrt//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they desert
    BrE BrE//dɪˈzɜːt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈzɜːrt//
     
    he / she / it deserts
    BrE BrE//dɪˈzɜːts//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈzɜːrts//
     
    past simple deserted
    BrE BrE//ˈzɜːtɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈzɜːrtɪd//
     
    past participle deserted
    BrE BrE//ˈzɜːtɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈzɜːrtɪd//
     
    -ing form deserting
    BrE BrE//dɪˈzɜːtɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈzɜːrtɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1  [transitive] desert somebody to leave somebody without help or support synonym abandon She was deserted by her husband. Don’t worry—I won’t desert you.
  2. 2  [transitive, often passive] desert something to go away from a place and leave it empty synonym abandon The villages had been deserted. The owl seems to have deserted its nest.
  3. 3  [intransitive, transitive] desert (something) to leave the armed forces without permission Large numbers of soldiers deserted as defeat became inevitable.
  4. 4[transitive] desert something (for something) to stop using, buying or supporting something Why did you desert teaching for politics?
  5. 5[transitive] desert somebody if a particular quality deserts you, it is not there when you need it Her courage seemed to desert her for a moment.
  6. Word Originverb late Middle English: from Old French deserter, from late Latin desertare, from Latin desertus ‘left waste’ from deserere ‘leave, forsake’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: desert