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Definition of desert noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

  • the Sahara Desert
  • Somalia is mostly desert.
  • They travelled many miles across burning desert sands.
  • Occasionally, we passed a desert oasis surrounded by small tracts of grass and shrub.
  • (figurative) The town has become a cultural desert (= a place without any culture) .
  • He drove off into the desert.
  • The desert stretched for endless miles on all sides of us.
  • The land loses its protective cover of vegetation and soon turns into desert.
  • cold nights in the desert
  • green fields surrounded by arid desert
  • their journey across the desert
  • vast tracts of desert land
  • across the desert
  • through the desert
  • in the desert

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dessert oxford dictionary

Other results

  • the Mojave Desert
  • Desert Island Discs
  • the Painted Desert
  • Operation Desert Shield
  • Operation Desert Storm
  • the Great American Desert
  • desert boots
  • Mojave Desert
  • Mohave Desert
  • desert islands
  • Painted Desert

Nearby words

Cambridge Dictionary

  • Cambridge Dictionary +Plus

Meaning of dessert in English

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  • She made a fabulous dessert with alternate layers of chocolate and cream .
  • A full three-course meal - appetizer , main course and dessert - only cost about $25.
  • Would you like peaches and cream for dessert?
  • The menu described the dessert as 'a medley of exotic fruits '.
  • I'm afraid my cooking skills don't run to fancy cakes and desserts.
  • baked Alaska
  • banana split
  • bananas Foster
  • banoffee pie
  • dulce de leche
  • knickerbocker glory
  • spotted dick
  • summer pudding

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dessert | American Dictionary

Examples of dessert, translations of dessert.

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Definition of dessert

Did you know.

Where does the phrase just deserts come from?

Why do we say that someone has gotten their just deserts ? Does this turn of phrase have anything to do with dessert (“a sweet food eaten at the end of a meal”) or desert (“a dry land with few plants and little rainfall”)? In fact, the phrase employs neither of these words. Instead, it uses a completely unrelated word that happens to be pronounced like the word for sweets and spelled like the one for a dry place: desert , meaning “reward or punishment deserved or earned by one’s qualities or acts.” This little-used noun is, as you might have guessed, related to the English verb deserve . It has nothing to do with arid, dry land, or with cookies and ice cream.

Example Sentences

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dessert.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback .

Word History

Middle French, from desservir to clear the table, from des- de- + servir to serve, from Latin servire

1600, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Phrases Containing dessert

  • dessert wine

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Dictionary Entries Near dessert

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Cite this Entry

“Dessert.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary , Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dessert. Accessed 2 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition

Kids definition of dessert, more from merriam-webster on dessert.

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dessert

Nglish: Translation of dessert for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dessert for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dessert

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  5. Do you know these words? Name these desserts in English

  6. Do you know these words?Name these desserts in English


  1. dessert

    dessert noun /dɪˈzɜːt/ /dɪˈzɜːrt/ [uncountable, countable] sweet food eaten at the end of a meal What's for dessert? a rich chocolate dessert a dessert wine (British English) the dessert trolley (= a table on wheels from which you choose your dessert in a restaurant) Homophones desert | dessert Collocations Restaurants

  2. desert

    desert noun /ˈdezət/ /ˈdezərt/ [countable, uncountable] see also deserts a large area of land that has very little water and very few plants growing on it. Many deserts are covered by sand. the Sahara Desert Somalia is mostly desert. They travelled many miles across burning desert sands.


    dessert noun [ C or U ] uk / dɪˈzɜːt / us / dɪˈzɝːt / A2 sweet food eaten at the end of a meal: a dessert fork / spoon For dessert there's apple pie or fruit. If you make the main course, I'll make a dessert. Synonyms afters UK informal pudding (SWEET FOOD) UK sweet More examples

  4. Dessert Definition & Meaning

    noun. des· sert di-ˈzərt. Synonyms of dessert. 1. : a usually sweet course or dish (as of pastry or ice cream) usually served at the end of a meal. 2. British : a fresh fruit served after a sweet course.

  5. Home : Oxford English Dictionary

    Our latest update: more than 800 new words, senses, and sub-entries have been added to the Oxford English Dictionary in our latest update, including final girl, tallywacker, and pinkie promise. New words notes: Learn more about the words added to the OED this quarter in our new words notes by OED Senior Editor, Jonathan Dent.