Definition of desertion in English:



  • 1The action of deserting a person, cause, or organization.

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