desert

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desert

a terrestrial environment in which there is poor soil, climatic extremes of high and low temperatures and low rainfall, and consequently a scarcity of living organisms, all of which must be specially adapted. See XEROPHYTE, METABOLIC WATER.
Collins Dictionary of Biology, 3rd ed. © W. G. Hale, V. A. Saunders, J. P. Margham 2005
References in classic literature ?
Monk made his calculations, at a thousand desertions a day Lambert had men enough to last twenty days; but there is in sinking things such a growth of weight and swiftness, which combine with each other, that a hundred left the first day, five hundred the second, a thousand the third.
Hunt, partly incited by indignation, partly by the policy of deterring others from desertion, put his threat into execution, and left them to find their way back to the settlements without, as he supposed, a single bullet or charge of powder.
Damon, the morning of the eighth day after their desertion by the faithless Jacinto.
She felt the loss of Willoughby's character yet more heavily than she had felt the loss of his heart; his seduction and desertion of Miss Williams, the misery of that poor girl, and the doubt of what his designs might ONCE have been on herself, preyed altogether so much on her spirits, that she could not bring herself to speak of what she felt even to Elinor; and, brooding over her sorrows in silence, gave more pain to her sister than could have been communicated by the most open and most frequent confession of them.
He's as bitter as gall at your desertion and its consequences: don't expect thanks for this noble devotion.
The next day, 10th of November, the same desertion, the same solitude.
They succeeded in overtaking the party of which they were in quest, but concealed their faithless desertion of Scott; alleging that he had died of disease.
The apartment had no look of desertion. His wife's tidiness was one of the traits which had so much pleased him; his own upbringing had given him a tender sympathy for the delight in orderliness; and when he had seen her instinctive desire to put each thing in its appointed place it had given him a little warm feeling in his heart.
(47) Similarly, in July of 1347, Isabel wife of Robert atte Kyrk, guilty of both desertion and adultery with the local chaplain, was required to cohabit with her husband Robert and "to treat him peacefully and quietly and to humbly obey him and not provoke his anger" on pain of six beatings around the marketplace of Grantham and six around the church of Skelinton, dressed only in a nightshirt.
On August 31, the Army charged Clousing with desertion. If found guilty, he could face a maximum of two years in confinement.
Hassan witnessed American military personnel attacking innocent civilians, soldiers so severely wounded that they were not sent back home for fear of demoralizing the public and undercutting support for the war, the remains of a South Vietnamese solider brutally executed for desertion while an American commander looked on, the remains of babies slain execution-style, and much more.
Hitt wouldn't speculate on why Swift - who was gone from the base for well over 30 days - wasn't charged with desertion.