|n.||1.||The act of deserting or forsaking; abandonment of a service, a cause, a party, a friend, or any post of duty; the quitting of one's duties willfully and without right; esp., an absconding from military or naval service.|
|2.||The state of being forsaken; desolation; as, the king in his desertion.|
|3.||Abandonment by God; spiritual despondency.|
|Noun||1.||desertion - withdrawing support or help despite allegiance or responsibility; "his abandonment of his wife and children left them penniless"|
|2.||desertion - the act of giving something up|
DESERTION, crim. law. An offence which consists in the abandonment of the
public service, in the army or navy, without leave.
2. The Act of March 16, 1802, s. 19, enacts, that if any non- commissioned officer, musician, or private, shall desert the service of the United States, he shall, in addition to the penalties mentioned in the rules and articles of war, be liable to serve for and during such period as shall, with the time he may have served previous to his desertion, amount to the full term of his enlistment; and such soldier shall and may be tried by a court-martial, and punished, although the term of his enlistment may have elapsed previous to his being apprehended or tried.
3. By the articles of war, it is enacted, that "any non-commissioned officer or soldier who shall, without leave from his commanding officer, absent himself from his troop, company, or detachment, shall, upon being convicted thereof, be punished, according to the nature of his offence, at the discretion of a court-martial." Art. 21.
4. By the articles for the government of the navy, art. 16, it is enacted, that "if any person in the navy shall desert to an enemy, or rebel, he shall suffer death;" and by art. 17, "if any person in the navy shall desert, or shall entice others to desert, he shall suffer death, or such other punishment as a court-martial shall adjudge."
DESERTION, torts. The act by which a man abandons his wife and children, or
either of them.
2. On proof of desertion, the courts possess the power to grant the 'Wife, or such children as have been deserted, alimony (q.v.)