From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishdesertdes‧ert1 /ˈdezət $ -ərt/ ●●○ W3 noun 1 [countable, uncountable]SG a large area of land where it is always very dry, there are few plants, and there is a lot of sand or rocks the Sahara Desert This area of the country is mostly desert.in the desert The plane crash-landed in the desert.2 [countable]BORING a place where there is no activity or where nothing interesting happens The railroad yard was a desert now. ► Do not confuse with dessert (=the sweet part of a meal).COLLOCATIONSadjectivesvast (=extremely big)the vast Gobi desert in Chinaempty (=with no buildings or people in it)Outside the city there was nothing but empty desert.arid (=with very little rain)Very little can grow in this arid desert.an inhospitable desert (=not easy to live or stay in)The interior of the country is an inhospitable desert.a barren desert (=where no plants can grow)Years of intensive farming have turned the area into a barren desert.desert + NOUNa desert area/regionA hot dry wind blows from the desert areas of North Africa.a desert landscapethe flat desert landscape outside Kuwaitdesert country/landLarge parts of Oman are desert country.the desert sun/heatAnimals shelter from the desert sun during the day.phrasesa stretch/expanse of desert (=a very large area of desert)In front of us was nothing but a vast expanse of desert.
Examples from the Corpusdesert• a US Army deserter• The restaurant space also gives the sense of a genuine, if somewhat too comfortable, desert experience.• The story happened in a sandy desert.• It was used in the Persian Gulf war to target smart bombs and guide tanks across the desert.• Thirst is banished, and the desert becomes their home.• These Sundays were the oases of human contact in the desert of my loneliness.• So if you go for a walk in the desert in a few years time and a plane flies overhead, hide.• He was pointing off toward the desert.in the desert• Stirling had little patience with the planning staffs' obsession with large set-piece armoured battles in the desert.• The turnaround was to have begun in the deserts of Arizona.• This was to use his old friends of 216 Squadron to resupply his force by landing their Bombays in the desert.• She had intended to lay the circles in the desert in a symmetrical honeycomb pattern, recalling the bees of her vision.• They stopped for a drink in the deserted bar.• They'd planned to go with Sinatra to his home in the desert to see in the New Year.• Moses finds a shepherd in the desert.• Who or what made the tracks in the desert sand?desertde‧sert2 /dɪˈzɜːt $ -ˈzɜːrt/ ●○○ verb 1 [transitive]LEAVE A RELATIONSHIP to leave someone or something and no longer help or support them SYN abandon Helen was deserted by her husband. Many of the party’s traditional voters deserted it at the last election. The price rise caused many readers to desert the magazine.desert somebody for somebody He deserted her for another woman.2 [transitive]LEAVE YOUR HOME/COUNTRY to leave a place so that it is completely empty SYN abandon The birds have deserted their nest.3 [intransitive]PMA to leave the army, navy etc without permission Several hundred soldiers have deserted.4 [transitive]EMOTIONAL# if a feeling, quality, or skill deserts you, you no longer have it, especially at a time when you need it Mike’s confidence seemed to have deserted him.→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpusdesert• U.S. officials say 1000 enemy soldiers have deserted.• The three men had tried to desert, but were brought back to camp and shot.• Mrs Hasan was deserted by her husband and had to support four children on her own.• Goldilocks finds a house in the woods that seems to have been deserted by its owners.• Several thousand soldiers desert every year, and military prosecutors, knowing the conditions, are reluctant to punish them.• He obtained the grenades from a friend who had deserted from the army.• Paul feels that his father deserted him after the divorce.• His own men deserted him, poisoned his food, and eventually shot him in the head.• The present site was apparently first recorded about 1939 and Aldershaw was deserted in 1947.• His father had deserted the family when Graham was three years old.• I deserted the play, as did the other actors on stage, and leapt into the audience.• Hibs' contribution was substantial until their stamina deserted them.Origin desert1 (1100-1200) Old French Late Latin desertum, from Latin desertus, past participle of deserere “to desert” desert2 (1300-1400) French déserter, from Latin desertus; → DESERT1