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DESERTER. One who abandons his post; as, a soldier who abandons the public service without leave; or a sailor who abandons a ship when he has engaged to serve.

References in classic literature ?
Immediately upon retiring from the castle, the Saxon thanes, with their attendants, took horse; and it was during the bustle which attended their doing so, that Cedric, for the first time, cast his eyes upon the deserter Gurth.
Hamel," his host said, " is a member of my family who has been a deserter for a short time.
And, good heaven, man," cried I, "you that are a condemned rebel, and a deserter, and a man of the French King's -- what tempts ye back into this country?
The cell, or black hole, for it had those words painted on the door, was very dark, and having recently accommodated a drunken deserter, by no means clean.
Besides being a rough handling of his wounded mind, it seemed to assume that he really was the self- interested deserter he had been called.
There was the sleepy Sunday of his boyhood, when, like a military deserter, he was marched to chapel by a picquet of teachers three times a day, morally handcuffed to another boy; and when he would willingly have bartered two meals of indigestible sermon for another ounce or two of inferior mutton at his scanty dinner in the flesh.
Truly,' returned Mrs Wilfer, courteously receiving the deserter, it would seem that we are required to think so.
The girls formed parties among themselves, which were reinforced by male deserters from the previous levies.
On the other hand, as the two friends approached to enter, they showed them every kind of civility, thinking them deserters from the royal party and wishing to bind them to their own.
When he attempted to retake the deserters, the Crow warriors ruffled up to him and declared the deserters were their good friends, had determined to remain among them, and should not be molested.
Good day to you, gentlemen three--or rather deserters three
Lambert, at this moment, commands eighteen thousand deserters, but I have never mentioned that to my officers, you may easily suppose.