a. The act or an instance of deserting.
b. The state of being deserted.
a. Willful abandonment of a spouse or child owed a duty of support.
b. The willful, permanent separation of one spouse from the other without acceptable cause or the other's consent, considered as a ground for divorce.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.