Someone who abandons their responsibilities is a deserter. Being a military deserter is particularly serious, with harsh consequences.

Anyone who deserts a post or obligation, abandoning it in an irresponsible, disloyal way, is a deserter. Your friends may call you a deserter if you promise to help them rake leaves but wander home after 20 minutes to watch TV instead. In the military, being a deserter is nearly as bad as being a traitor. During wartime, deserters can face long prison sentences.

Definitions of deserter
  1. noun
    a disloyal person who betrays or deserts his cause or religion or political party or friend etc.
    synonyms: apostate, ratter, recreant, renegade, turncoat
    see moresee less
    type of:
    a person who gives up too easily
  2. noun
    a person who abandons their duty (as on a military post)
    synonyms: defector
    see moresee less
    show 4 types...
    hide 4 types...
    an ideological defector from the party line (especially from orthodox communism)
    draft dodger, draft evader
    someone who is drafted and illegally refuses to serve
    someone who rebels and becomes an outlaw
    an operative who initiates his own defection (usually to a hostile country) for political asylum
    type of:
    offender, wrongdoer
    a person who transgresses moral or civil law
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week