Desert vs. Desert – Usage & Meaning

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

“Desert” and “desert” are the same word, Candace, so how can they have different meanings? Good question and the answer is simple: context. The context in which you use ‘desert’ will determine not only its meaning but how you say it. So, I decided to break it down in a quick guide to help you understand the difference and proper usage of the word desert in its three forms.

What Does Desert Mean?

httpsgrammarist.comheteronymsdesert vs desert

“Desert” is a commonly used noun that is basically a dry, barren area of land, usually with little or no vegetation. It can also refer to a place that is uninhabited or deserted. Deserts are found all over the world and can vary significantly in size and temperature.

Deserts can be either hot or cold and can be home to different forms of life, like cacti, and animals like camels, snakes, and lizards.

But the word desert can also be a verb, meaning to leave someone or something. It’s even used as an adjective when describing a place or thing that’s all by itself.

Examples of Desert in a Sentence

Seeing how to use the word “desert” in a sentence can help you better understand because it gives context.

  • The Sahara Desert is said to be the largest hot desert in the world.
  • The desert was a harsh and unforgiving place.
  • They were lost in the desert and running low on water.
  • I once lived in Medicine Hat, which is considered the desert of Canada.
  • You deserted me when I needed you most!
  • She deserts her family and settles in a faraway place.
  • John was brought to a desert island as a punishment.

Desert Pronunciation

Easy! You say desert in two syllables, dez-ert, when using it in its noun and adjective form. But, if using it as a verb, you would pronounce it as deh-zert.

How to Remember the Difference

The main difference between “desert” and “desert” is their meanings, but you can’t know that without proper context. “Desert” refers to a type of geography or a place when used in that context, while “desert” as a verb or adjective refers to being abandoned or something lonely.

Desert or Desert: Now You Know

Remember, “desert” has three meanings. As a noun, it refers to a dry, barren area of land, usually with little or no vegetation. And as a verb, it means to leave someone or something. As an adjective, it describes something lone such as a desert island. I hope that helps!