desert and dessert - the difference

Desert means arid land or to abandon.
Dessert is the sweet course at the end of a meal.

The words desert and dessert look similar, but they are very different in meaning.


The word desert can be an adjective, noun, or verb. It has the following meanings:
Arid land with little or no vegetation

         The Sahara Desert

The plants and animals possess special features which allow them to cope with the desert conditions.
(Desert is an adjective in this example.)

An ice desert is defined as a polar area that supports little or no vegetation and that is permanently covered by snow and ice.
(Desert is a noun in this example.)
To abandon or to defect or to leave in the lurch.

If disturbed too often, the adult birds will desert the fledglings.

If you desert, you will be shot when you're caught.
(Desert is a verb in these examples.)
To leave behind

As soon as the bell went, the kids deserted the building.
(Desert is a verb in this example.)


A dessert is typically the final course of a meal. It is usually sweet (e.g., ice cream, cake, pudding).

Would you like to see the dessert menu?

an example of a dessert
Select the correct version:



Some tips to remember which is which:

Dessert is twice as good as desert.
Desert = Sahara
Dessert = Strawberry shortcake 

See also:

What are adjectives?
What are nouns?
What are verbs?
List of easily confused words

Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Twitter
Like us on Facebook Like Us on Facebook
Search Sign Up for Our Free Newsletter
by Craig Shrives Join Our Google+ Circle
Chat about grammar Ask a Grammar Question
Search Search This Site