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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
gets his just deserts (=is punished in the way he deserves)
▪ I hope that he’s caught and gets his just deserts.
▪ Now the rich and the proud would get their just deserts.

n. (plural of desert English)


n. an outcome (good or bad) that is well deserved [syn: comeuppance, comeupance]


Déserts (1950–1954) is a piece by Edgard Varèse for 14 winds ( brass and woodwinds), 5 percussion players, 1 piano, and electronic tape. Percussion instruments are exploited for their resonant potential, rather than used solely as accompaniment. According to Varèse the title of the piece regards, "not only physical deserts of sand, sea, mountains, and snow, outer space, deserted city streets... but also distant inner space... where man is alone in a world of mystery and essential solitude."

The piece was created as a soundtrack to a modernist film. According to "Blue" Gene Tyranny, "It is now recognized as an exceptional example of truly humanistic music." It "has been described... as atonal, athematic,... amotivic," and its orchestration has "been labeled subtle." As Paul Griffiths describes:

With electronic sections based upon factory sounds and percussion instruments, Varèse began composition in 1953 (or 1952) upon the anonymous gift of an Ampex tape recorder, worked further on the piece at Pierre Schaeffer's studio at Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française, and revised it at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center. The electronic sections were composed later, and the piece may be performed without them, reducing its length by seven minutes.

The first performance of the combined orchestral and tape sound composition was given at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris on December 2, 1954, with Hermann Scherchen conducting and Pierre Henry in charge of the tape part. This performance was part of an ORTF broadcast concert, in front of a totally unprepared and mainly conservative audience, with Déserts wedged between pieces by Mozart and Tchaikovsky. It received a vitriolic reaction from both the audience and the press.

Usage examples of "deserts".

After the sage-brush and alkali deserts of Washoe, San Francisco was Paradise to me.

Pretty soon he would be hundreds and hundreds of miles away on the great plains and deserts, and among the mountains of the Far West, and would see buffaloes and Indians, and prairie dogs, and antelopes, and have all kinds of adventures, and may be get hanged or scalped, and have ever such a fine time, and write home and tell us all about it, and be a hero.

There is not a tree of any kind in the deserts, for hundreds of miles--there is no vegetation at all in a regular desert, except the sage-brush and its cousin the "greasewood," which is so much like the sage-brush that the difference amounts to little.

Camp-fires and hot suppers in the deserts would be impossible but for the friendly sage-brush.

Street was very busy with his telegraphic matters--and considering that he had eight or nine hundred miles of rugged, snowy, uninhabited mountains, and waterless, treeless, melancholy deserts to traverse with his wire, it was natural and needful that he should be as busy as possible.

And now we entered upon one of that species of deserts whose concentrated hideousness shames the diffused and diluted horrors of Sahara--an "alkali" desert.

Its long route was traceable clear across the deserts of the Territory by the writhing serpent of dust it lifted up.

  The sovereign of the Russian deserts commands a larger portion of the globe.

  Beyond the frontiers, his anxious view could discover nothing, except the ocean, inhospitable deserts, hostile tribes of barbarians, of fierce manners and unknown language, or dependent kings, who would gladly purchase the emperor's protection by the sacrifice of an obnoxious fugitive.

  In the time of Alexander, and probably many ages afterwards, it was thinly inhabited by a savage people of Icthyophagi, or Fishermen, who knew no arts, who acknowledged no master, and who were divided by in-hospitable deserts from the rest of the world.

  Great numbers of the Alani, appeased by the punctual discharge of the engagements which Aurelian had contracted with them, relinquished their booty and captives, and quietly retreated to their own deserts, beyond the Phasis.

  A confederacy of five Moorish nations issued from their deserts to invade the peaceful provinces.

  With a view of opposing to the Blemmyes a suitable adversary, Diocletian persuaded the Nobatae, or people of Nubia, to remove from their ancient habitations in the deserts of Libya, and resigned to them an extensive but unprofitable territory above Syene and the cataracts of the Nile, with the stipulation, that they should ever respect and guard the frontier of the empire.

  A slight resistance was followed by a dreadful carnage, and, in the general confusion, the wounded monarch (for Narses commanded his armies in person) fled towards the deserts of Media.

  A tribune who deserts his post is punished with death, and deprived of the honors of burial.