Difference Between Desert and Dessert

Main Difference – Desert vs Dessert 

Although desert and dessert have different meanings, spellings, and pronunciations, many of us still make the mistake of confusing these two words.  This confusion is mainly caused by the similar spellings found in both these words; dessert is written with double ‘s’ whereas desert is written with single ‘s’. It is this additional ‘s’ letter that makes all the difference. The main difference between desert and dessert is that desert is a dry, arid, sandy area whereas dessert is a sweet food eaten after the main meal.

Desert – Meaning and Usage

Desert basically has two main meanings. Let us first look at the desert that functions as a noun and refers to a place. Desert is a dry, waterless, sandy area with no/little vegetation. This term is used to describe a geographical location.

Camel is called the ship of the desert.

The Sahara in African continent is the largest hot desert in the world.

Although deserts look very beautiful, they are a hard place to live in.

They had to travel through the desert to reach their destination.

The second meaning of desert is to abandon. Here, desert refers to an action and is, therefore, a verb. Desert is specifically preferred over abandon when referring to an abandonment which is considered to be disloyal or treacherous, as in the case of desertion from the military.

He deserted his wife and three children and went back to Spain.

He deserted them in their hour of need.

The tourists deserted the beach.

They drove around a deserted country road.

The difference between these two meanings can be identified by the pronunciation of the word.  When we are referring to the arid land, the stress is on the first part of the word. When we are referring to the verb, the stress should be on the last part of the word.Main Difference - Desert vs Dessert

Dessert – Meaning and Usage

Dessert is a noun that refers to the sweet course taken at the end of the meals. The sweet things you eat at the end of the meals – ice cream, pudding, cakes, fruits, etc. all count as desserts. Dessert is written with two s’s, and pronounced with the stress on the last syllable of the word.

Can I have ice-cream for dessert?

Chocolate ice-cream is the perfect dessert for a summer day.

My mother made crème brulee for the dessert.

It is common to have fruits for dessert in many countries.

Finish your rice first, and then you can have the dessert.

Would you like to look at the dessert menu, sir?Difference Between Desert and Dessert

Difference Between Desert and Dessert 


Desert can mean an arid land or to abandon.

Dessert is a sweet course taken at the end of meals.

Grammatical Category

Desert is a noun and a verb.

Dessert is a noun.


Desert (noun) is pronounced with the stress on the first syllable.

Dessert is pronounced with the stress on the last syllable.


Desert is written with one s.

Dessert is written with double s.Difference Between Desert and Dessert- infographic

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