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Desert (n.) That which is deserved; the reward or the punishment justly due; claim to recompense, usually in a good sense; right to reward; merit.
Desert (n.) 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.
Desert (n.) A tract, which may be capable of sustaining a population, but has been left unoccupied and uncultivated; a wilderness; a solitary place.
Desert (a.) Of or pertaining to a desert; forsaken; without life or cultivation; unproductive; waste; barren; wild; desolate; solitary; as, they landed on a desert island.
Desert (v. t.) 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.
Desert (v. t.) 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.
Desert (v. i.) To abandon a service without leave; to quit military service without permission, before the expiration of one's term; to abscond.