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English definition of “desertion”

desertion

noun uk   /dɪˈzɜː.ʃən/ us    /-ˈzɝː-/
[C or U] the act of leaving the armed forces without permission: During the war, desertion was punishable by death. There were thousands of desertions in the last weeks of the war.figurative There have been mass desertions from (= a lot of people have left) the party in recent months. [C or U] the act of leaving someone behind in a difficult situation: Roger got his divorce on the grounds of desertion (= because his wife had left him).
(Definition of desertion from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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