Definition of desertion in English:



  • 1[mass noun] The action of deserting a person, cause, or organization.

    ‘her guilt over her desertion of her husband’
    • ‘We confined our trapping to the late stages of incubation to minimize nest desertion due to trapping procedures.’
    • ‘Novels of alienation and misery are common currency, tales of abuse, violence and desertion are run-of-the-mill stuff for British fiction.’
    • ‘Often the socio-economic implications arising out of desertions by the spouse is overlooked by society.’
    • ‘Any desertion on Edith's part is terminated by Robert agreeing to the separation.’
    • ‘When desertion was only suspected after two checks, further checks were conducted until the status of the nest became clear.’
    • ‘Paradoxically, the distrust is further fuelled by the desertion of an assistant counsel on the team last month.’
    • ‘His guilt about his desertion of the weaker boy was to provide the story of his television play Old Flames.’
    • ‘The wife may ask for divorce based on impotence, non-support, and desertion or lengthy absence.’
    • ‘Does the past success of the brood influence the timing of mate desertion?’
    • ‘High densities of argasid ticks have been linked to egg and seabird nestlings desertion and lower survival of Cattle Egrets.’
    • ‘They tell their own story of desertions, food rationing, shortage of ammunition and other difficulties.’
    • ‘Desertion, arson and poor or slow work were the most common ways of showing resistance by slaves.’
    • ‘She plans to crash the party and reveal that she is Godfrey's wife so that she can avenge Godfrey's desertion.’
    • ‘However, separation and desertion remain far more common.’
    • ‘Spousal desertion automatically invokes this right.’
    • ‘Ultimately, "want of confidence" turned into actual desertion.’
    • ‘Thus the idea of desertion runs through both the frame narrative and the inner story of "On Greenhow Hill."’
    • ‘Desertion was recognized if one or both parents were not seen at the nest for at least two consecutive nest checks.’
    • ‘The desertion of the small family farm constitutes the largest population movement in American history.’
    • ‘Divorce can be obtained on the bases of adultery, intolerable behavior, desertion, and de facto separation.’
    defection, reneging, betrayal
    abandonment, leaving, forsaking
    absconding, running away, decamping, flight, fleeing, flying, bolting, turning tail, truancy, going absent without leave, taking french leave, departure, escape, dereliction
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Military The action of illegally leaving the armed forces.
      ‘three officers were shot for desertion’
      [count noun] ‘the number of desertions was rising’
      • ‘According to the CBS News programme 60 Minutes, there have been 5,500 desertions amongst US troops.’
      • ‘He just finished serving 30 days in jail for his 1965 desertion.’
      • ‘In 1921 King George V granted him a pardon on the desertion charge.’
      • ‘There was not an instance of desertion in the battalion.’
      • ‘Congress first offered service pensions to officers in 1781, in order to prevent mass desertion.’