de·​sert·​er | \ di-ˈzər-tər How to pronounce deserter (audio) \
plural deserters

Definition of deserter

: 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

First Known Use of deserter

1631, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of deserter was in 1631

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Dictionary Entries Near deserter

desert date


desert fever

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Cite this Entry

“Deserter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Sep. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of deserter

: a soldier who leaves without permission : a military person who deserts


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