desert(redirected from deserted)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to deserted: deserted places
Any place that is characterized by having a distinct lack of complexity, vibrancy, vitality, or interest in intellectual and artistic activity. After living in New York City for seven years, this little town is something of a cultural desert by comparison. Once considered a cultural desert, the country is now teeming with new museums, extravagant theater productions, and a truly vibrant and eclectic music scene.
That which one deserves, especially a punishment or unfavorable outcome. Usually used in the phrase "get/receive one's just deserts." (Note: The phrase is often misspelled as "just desserts," due to the pronunciation of "deserts" and "desserts" being the same in this context.) The CEO cheated his clients out of nearly $4 million, but he got his just deserts when he was stripped of everything he owned and sent to prison.
receive (one's) just deserts
To receive that which one deserves, especially a punishment or unfavorable outcome. (Note: The phrase is often misspelled as "just desserts," due to the pronunciation of "deserts" and "desserts" being the same in this context.) The CEO cheated his clients out of nearly $4 million, but he received his just deserts when he was stripped of everything he owned and sent to prison.
like rats deserting a sinking ship
With great haste and having only personal well-being in mind. (Typically said of people who begin abandoning something or someone that is failing or about to fail.) I knew the business was doomed when employees started quitting en masse, like rats deserting a sinking ship. Like rats deserting a sinking ship, the disgraced athlete's corporate sponsors began pulling their sponsorships one after another.
desert a sinking shipand leave a sinking ship
Fig. to leave a place, a person, or a situation when things become difficult or unpleasant. (Rats are said to be the first to leave a ship that is sinking.) I hate to be the one to desert a sinking ship, but I can't work for a company that continues to lose money. There goes Tom. Wouldn't you know he'd leave a sinking ship rather than stay around and try to help?
Desert and reward seldom keep company.
Prov. If you deserve a reward, you are not necessarily going to get it. Jill: I worked so hard on that project, and Fred is taking all the credit for it. Jane: You know how it goes; desert and reward seldom keep company.
desert (someone or something) for (someone or something else)
to leave someone for someone else; to leave something or some place for some other thing or place. She deserted her husband for another man. Many retirees have deserted northern states for the warmer climates of the South.
desert someone or something to someone or something
to abandon someone or something to someone or something; to let someone or something have someone or something. Who deserted this child to her horrible fate? Sam deserted his land to the horde of grubby prospectors.
get one's just desertsand get one's just reward(s); get one's
[specified by context] to get what one deserves. I feel better now that Jane got her just deserts. She really insulted me. The criminal who was sent to prison got his just rewards. You'll get yours!
get your just deserts
if you get your just deserts, something bad happens to you that you deserve because of something bad you have done Did you read about the burglar whose own house was broken into? He really got his just deserts.See be just what the doctor ordered, just gay enough, be just a pretty face, Just my luck!
desert a sinking ship
Abandon a failing enterprise before it is too late. For example, After seeing the company's financial statement, he knew it was time to desert a sinking ship . This metaphoric expression alludes to rats, which leave a vessel when it founders in a storm or runs aground so as to escape drowning. It was transferred to human behavior by about 1600.
A deserved punishment or reward, as in He got his just deserts when Mary jilted him. This idiom employs desert in the sense of "what one deserves," a usage dating from the 1300s but obsolete except in this expression.
n. a new soldier in a desert war; a soldier new to the desert in wartime. (see also cherry.) About 5,000 desert cherries arrived last week. Something is going to happen soon.