Difference Between Desert and Dessert

Desert and dessert are two commonly confused words in the English language. They often look alike, but there is a slight difference in their spelling, meaning, and even pronunciation. Desert is a noun that means a large, dry area with few plants. Desert implies a hot and sandy region, where there is a lack of water, due to which life is quite difficult there. Many deserts are full of sand dunes and have very few animals living in them. It may also mean to run away from a situation. On the contrary, Dessert is a noun that means the sweet thing you sometimes eat after dinner, like fruit, ice cream, or cake. It implies a sweet cuisine, which is usually eaten after lunch or dinner.

The examples given below will help you to understand the difference between these two:

After having dessert, the group decided to visit the Thar desert.

When the function is over, dessert is served to all the guests and after an hour or so, everyone deserted the hall.

In these two examples, you might have observed that the word dessert has only one meaning in both the sentences, i.e. the confectionary item. As against, desert in the first example means the vast arid region, whereas in the second case, it means to leave (left).

Difference Between Desert and Dessert


  • Desert refers to a very hot barren land covered with sand or rock, having little or no vegetation. It implies a large sandy or rocky area, having very little precipitation and sparse vegetation. It may also mean to leave someone or something in a difficult situation or escaping from the army without any intention of coming back.
  • The word ‘desert’ is primarily used as a noun, which implies a very hot and dry region covered with sand or rocks wherein there is a lack of water because there is very little rainfall in the area and so the living conditions are not suitable or favorable for the living beings.
  • Desert can be used as a noun or a verb and has one ‘s’. The meaning of the word is understood in the context of the sentence.
  • In the word ‘desert’ we lay stress on the first syllable.
  • Examples: The Sahara Desert in Africa is one of the biggest in the world. Sahara is a huge area with very little rain.


  • Dessert refers to confection, i.e. a sweet dish eaten at the end of the meal. It refers to the sweet dish which is served after lunch or dinner.
  • Dessert refers to the course that is eaten at the end of the meal, which is normally a sweet dish. It mainly includes confections like biscuits, cookies, cakes, chocolates, candies, pastries, ice cream, pies, mousse, custards, puddings, etc.
  • Dessert is spelled with a double ‘s’ and is a noun and only has one meaning as a sweet treat.
  • Examples: In many countries, it is common to have fruit or juice for dessert. In some places, people eat sweet fruit after a meal.
  • In the word, ‘dessert’ stress is laid on the second syllable.