de·​sert·​i·​fi·​ca·​tion di-ˌzər-tə-fə-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce desertification (audio)
: the process of becoming desert (as from land mismanagement or climate change)
desertify transitive verb

Examples of desertification in a Sentence

The organization was awarded for its efforts to prevent further desertification in Africa.
Recent Examples on the Web Much of Spain’s land now faces climatic conditions that could lead to desertification. Alessio Perrone, Scientific American, 31 Aug. 2023 But forests are diminishing through exploitative logging practices as well as the process of desertification, which turns grassland and shrubland arid. IEEE Spectrum, 17 Aug. 2023 The already high temperatures are rising and the region faces the constant threat of desertification and water deficiency. Kristen Lynch, USA TODAY, 10 Aug. 2023 Climate change and desertification are to blame, scientists say. Hiroko Tabuchi, New York Times, 1 Aug. 2023 The factors behind the increasing frequency of the storms are complex -- experts blame scorching temperatures and extreme dryness, combined with years of poor land and water management in countries like Iraq and Iran, for increasing desertification and soil erosion. Sophie Tremblay, CNN, 25 May 2022 By the end of this decade, scientists and models predict that hurricanes and droughts will push people across borders and into refugee camps, many of which will be in areas made flammable by desertification. David Alexander, The New Yorker, 28 June 2023 More long term, the flooding and loss of extensive irrigation systems could leave thousands of acres stripped of their rich topsoil, and result in a desertification of farmlands that have helped make Ukraine one of the world’s most productive breadbaskets. Howard Lafranchi, The Christian Science Monitor, 12 June 2023 The Great Green Wall, a massive tree-planting effort aimed at slowing desertification, has been underway for years. Suman Naishadham, Fortune, 9 June 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1972, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of desertification was in 1972

Dictionary Entries Near desertification

Cite this Entry

“Desertification.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

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