SKIP TO CONTENT

deserts

Use the noun deserts to describe what happens when someone receives what's coming to him — good or bad, he gets his "just deserts."

When you're using deserts to mean "what is deserved," it's pronounced like the banana split kind of desserts. This is because its root is the word deserve. Deserts most often follows the word just, to mean that someone gets the reward or punishment he or she really deserves to get. The bully who is expelled from school gets her just deserts, for example, and so does the brilliant scientist who wins the Nobel Prize.

Definitions of deserts
  1. noun
    an outcome (good or bad) that is well deserved
    synonyms: comeupance, comeuppance
    see moresee less
    type of:
    aftermath, consequence
    the outcome of an event especially as relative to an individual
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’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.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

ACT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week