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Related to deserted: deserted places

desert (someone or something) for (someone or something)

To leave or abandon someone or something for someone or something else. After years of being underpaid, she finally deserted her corporate job. I deserted my homeland for a country that had more opportunities available to me.
See also: desert

desert a sinking ship

To leave a situation in which failure is imminent. This phrase alludes to rats, the first ones said to flee a sinking ship. The CEO's sudden resignation seemed strange at the time, but now we know that he was just deserting a sinking ship, as the company has become plagued by scandal.
See also: desert, ship, sink

desert a sinking ship

 and 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?
See also: desert, ship, sink

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.
See also: desert, ship, sink
References in classic literature ?
The character and conduct of this man attracted the attention of Captain Bonneville, and he was anxious to hear the reason why he had deserted his tribe, and why he looked back upon them with such deadly hostility.
The Witnesses proved, without error or flaw, That the sty was deserted when found: And the Judge kept explaining the state of the law In a soft under-current of sound.
Silently we dropped to the deserted deck, and on hands and knees crawled toward the hatchway.
To the beekeeper's tap on the wall of the sick hive, instead of the former instant unanimous humming of tens of thousands of bees with their abdomens threateningly compressed, and producing by the rapid vibration of their wings an aerial living sound, the only reply is a disconnected buzzing from different parts of the deserted hive.
It was as lovely in my eyes as the loveliest village of the plain, and it had the advantage of realizing the Deserted Village without being deserted.
WHEN those of the royalists who had not deserted the King and fled precipitately toward the coast had regained the castle and the Priory the city was turned over to looting and rapine.