desert

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cultural desert

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.
See also: desert

just deserts

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.
See also: desert, just

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.
See also: desert, just, receive

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.
See also: desert, like, rat, 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 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.
See also: desert

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.
See also: desert

get one's just deserts

 and 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!
See also: desert, get, just

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!
See also: desert, get, just

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

just deserts

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.
See also: desert, just

desert cherry

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.
See also: cherry, desert
References in periodicals archive ?
military will request Japan's prefectural police forces to arrest its deserters and will provide information immediately after desertions occur, Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura said Friday.
ITEM: Katie Couric of the CBS Evening News introduced a segment on November 16 about how deserters fleeing to Canada are "just part of a growing problem for the U.
9) Deserter advertisements buttressed officers' authority and financed the press in the same way that runaway slave notices, according to David Waldstreicher, revealed that the "relation between slavery and print culture was reciprocal.
The move follows a call by Defence Secretary Des Browne, who has ordered an urgent review of Government policy on executed deserters.
Hinzman, Hughey, and Sanders are following in the footsteps of tens of thousands of military deserters and draft dodgers who went to Canada during the Vietnam War.
According to the attorney general's office in the capital Bogota, the deserter said three Irish men being held in the South American country smuggled missiles and launchers in boxes aboard two small planes more than two years ago.
But the testimony of the deserter, identified only as 'Alexander' for security reasons, to officials from the attorney general's office, and first reported yesterday, rejects this.
Home to Harlem represents the uneasy intersection of its two migrant narratives, as it celebrates the unlikely friendship between the African American working-class war deserter and the young Haitian intellectual who had fled from the United States military occupation of his country.
AN ARMY deserter masquerading as an officer came before the Liverpool Recorder today and received a heavy sentence for a particularly mean offence.
The fiscal year 2011-2012 ILE partnership with the USMS produced significant results for both agencies in two common areas of law enforcement--sex offender targeting and deserter operations.
The DVD includes Grievous Intrigue, The Deserter, Lightsaber Lost, The Mandalore Plot, Voyage of Temptation and Duchess of Mandalore.
Two Lebanese military personnel were killed Thursday in Majdal Anjar in the Bekaa valley during a military operation that sought to arrest Hussein Ajaj, an army deserter, the Beirut daily AN NAHAR and others reported Friday.
Most soldiers will know that a man who absents himself for up to seven days is considered as absent without leave and after 28 days he is usually looked upon as a deserter.
In this paper, the focus is on those cases where the records make it clear the wife was the deserter.
Army deserter, who lived in North Korea for almost 40 years until 2004 and is now in Japan, said in his memoirs published last year that he had met a woman believed to be Anocha in the North.