de·​sert·​er di-ˈzər-tər How to pronounce deserter (audio)
plural deserters
: a person who deserts
… the deserter of his father in his last days, betrayer of his brother in his captivity …Amy Kelly
especially : a member of a military force who abandons service without leave
a wartime deserter
But now that Anderson has been AWOL for more than 30 days, he is known in the U.S. military as a deserter, facing the possibility of years in jail. Daniel Eisenberg
At a prison camp for German army deserters, Herold ordered the execution of more than 100 soldiers. Michael Phillips

Examples of deserter in a Sentence

we had orders to find and capture the deserters before they could reveal our location
Recent Examples on the Web They were referred to as traitors and deserters by PGA Tour supporters and what then seemed like a large, vocal portion of golf fans. Mike Bianchi, Orlando Sentinel, 18 June 2024 Russian deserters who agree to testify in such hearings should be guaranteed that they will not be extradited to Russia. Kristina Hook, Foreign Affairs, 28 July 2022 Private Ahn Joon-ho (Jung Hae-in) and Corporal Han Ho-yeol (Koo Kyo-hwan) are tasked with finding deserters but end up discovering a lot more about the bullying and hazing that causes soldiers to abandon their duties. Megan Vick,, 30 May 2024 Soon, none other than the five deserters joined them, having landed a little way down the beach. Eric Jay Dolin, Smithsonian Magazine, 6 May 2024 The invasion against Mexico saw a staggering number of deserters. Sarah Quiñones Wolfson, Los Angeles Times, 17 Mar. 2024 No longer a savior of filmmakers, Annapurna became a deserter of them. Rebecca Keegan, The Hollywood Reporter, 6 Mar. 2024 Starters Pablo Lopez and Joe Ryan lead a pitching staff that will miss free agent deserter Sonny Gray but a bullpen led by fireballer Jhoan Duran is in great shape. Dan Schlossberg, Forbes, 15 Feb. 2024 While that accounts for a small percentage of the army’s total personnel, estimated at 280,000 to 350,000 people, the number of deserters has doubled since the start of the year. Sui-Lee Wee, New York Times, 19 Dec. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'deserter.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


desert entry 3 + -er entry 2, after Latin dēsertor and French déserteur

First Known Use

1631, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of deserter was in 1631

Dictionary Entries Near deserter

Cite this Entry

“Deserter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jun. 2024.

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