Student or Learner
Could I use these words synonymously?
A desert island = A deserted island
A desert wood = A deserted wood
Is there any case where I have to use only deserted or desert (as an adjective)?
Thank you in advance!
(From the dictionaries)
- An empty or forsaken place; a wasteland
- Desolate and sparsely occupied or unoccupied <a desert island>
desert - definition of desert by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.
Desert - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary
So we can use both desert and deserted when talking about places to mean 'unpopulated'. We can also use 'deserted' with people: deserted child/wife (abandoned, lonely);
We can't say, 'desert child'.
Do you think the definitions above are wrong?
'desert island' means a remote tropical island that is typically uninhabited;
'deserted island' means an island which was inhabited but is no more.
So the meanings differ. 'Desert island' is idiomatic. 'Desert' is not used adjectivally in this sense in any other expression; instead, it means 'like a desert'. So 'desert wood' is not possible.
Strangely though, I've checked all the dictionaries I could possibly find and all of them say that 'desert' and 'deserted' can have the same meaning.
euncu's talking Turkish, er... turkey.
"Desert" is a noun. Its adjectival use is pretty much constrained to meaning desert-like, as in 6. below.
"Deserted" is only an adjective (or past participle).
So it's hard to see how most dictionaries can equate these two.
Desert | Define Desert at Dictionary.com
1 /ˈdɛzərt/ Show Spelled[dez-ert] Show IPA
–adjective 6. of, pertaining to, or like a desert; desolate; barren.
7. occurring, living, or flourishing in the desert: a desert tribe; a desert palm.
8. designed or suitable for wear in the desert, as cool, protective clothing: a big, wide-brimmed desert hat.
/dɪˈzɜrtɪd/ Show Spelled[dih-zur-tid] Show IPA
–adjective 1. abandoned; forsaken: the problems of deserted wives and children.
2. untenanted: without inhabitants: a deserted village; a deserted farmhouse.
3. unfrequented; lonely: The victim was lured to a deserted spot.