Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Desert and Dessert

Desert vs Dessert

Some words have similar spellings but have different meanings. This can cause confusion especially if their difference is just one letter which is lacking from one. This is the case of the words “desert” and “dessert.”

The word “desert” is used as an adjective, a noun, and a verb. As a noun it refers to a barren and desolate area which is dry and sandy. It has little or no rainfall with little vegetation and temperatures that can be very hot during the day or very cold during the night. As an adjective, it is used to mean or refer to a desert, or of things that can be seen in a desert such as a desert oasis or desert sand. It may also refer to the phrase “just deserts” or something that one deserves as a form of reward or punishment. As a verb it is used to refer to the act of abandoning or running away from someone or something without any intention of coming back. Examples are:

“A desert is an arid land.” (Noun)
“The lost driver drove for more than five hours before coming upon a desert oasis”. (Adjective)
“She had no idea that he will desert her just because of a petty quarrel”. (Verb)
The word “desert” comes from the Old French word “deserter” which means “wasteland” or “wilderness.” It also comes from the Latin words “desertum” which means “thing abandoned” and “deserere” which means “forsake.”

The word “dessert,” on the other hand, comes from the Middle French word “dessert” which means “last course” and the words “des” meaning “remove” or “undo” and “server” meaning “to serve.” It was first used in the year 1600.

In the United States of America, dessert is the last course of a meal while in Great Britain it is a course that is made up of fresh or candied fruits, nuts, or candy which is served right after the course that is called dessert in the USA. It is usually a sweet dish such as puddings, cakes, ice cream, and pastries. Examples of desserts are: pies (apple, lemon meringue, egg), cakes (chocolate fudge, cheesecake, fruitcake), pastries (muffins, brownies, tiramisu), and puddings.

It is used as a noun which is synonymous with the words: sweet treats, sweet course, frozen treat, or pudding. An example of its use in a sentence is: “He was so full; he did not have room left for dessert.”


1.The word “desert” refers to: an arid area, things that refer to or that belongs to a desert, and the act of running away from something or someone while the word “dessert” refers to the last course of a meal.
2.The word “desert” comes from the Old French word “deserter” which means “wilderness” while the word “dessert” comes from the Middle French word “dessert” which means “last course.”
3.The word “desert” can be used as a noun, as an adjective, and as a verb while the word “dessert” is only used as a noun.

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