Definition - Noun
: the forsaking of a person, post, or relationship: as
a  : permanent withdrawal from living with one's spouse without the spouse's consent and without cause or justification
Desertion is a ground for divorce in many states.
b  : intentional permanent termination of custody over one's child
: See also abandonment
c  : abandonment of military duty without leave and without the intent to return

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Based on Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©2001.
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Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.