KJV Dictionary Definition: desert


DESERT, a. S as z L. To sow, plant or scatter.

1. Literally, forsaken; hence, uninhabited; as a desert isle. Hence, wild; untilled; waste; uncultivated; as a desert land or country.

2. Void; emprty; unoccupied.

Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, and waste its sweetness on the desert air.

DESERT, n. An uninhabited tract of land; a region in its natural state; a wilderness; a solitude; particularly, a vast sandy plain, as the deserts of Arabia and Africa. But the word may be applied to an uninhabited country covered with wood.

DESERT, v.t. L. To forsake.

1. To forsake; to leave utterly; to abandon; to quit with a view not to return to; as, to desert a friend; to desert our country; to desert a cause.

2. To leave, without permission, a military band, or a ship, in which one is enlisted; to forsake the service in which one is engaged, in violation of duty; as, to desert the army; to desert ones colors; to desert a ship.

DESERT, v.i. To run away; to quit a service without permission; as, to desert from the army.


1. A deserving; that which gives a right to reward or demands, or which renders liable to punishment; merit or demerit; that which entitles to a recompense of equal to the offense; good conferred, or evil done, which merits an equivalent return. A wise legislature will reward or punish men according to their deserts.

2. That which is deserved; reward or punishment merited. In a future life, every man will receive his desert.


DESERTED, pp. Wholly forsaken; abandoned; left.


DESERTER, n. A person who forsakes his cause, his post, or his party or friend; particularly, a soldier or seaman who quits the service without permission, and in violation of his engagement.


DESERTFUL, a. High in desert; meritorious.


DESERTING, ppr. Forsaking utterly; abandoning.



1. The act of forsaking or abandoning, as a party, a friend, a country, an army or military band, or a ship; the act of quitting, with an intention not to return.

2. The state of being forsaken by God; spiritual despondency.

The agonies of a soul under desertion.