- The act of leaving a person, position, or relationship without giving proper notice or reason
- Ceasing to live with a spouse without their agreement and without a valid reason
- Choosing to end the responsibility of looking after one's own child permanently
- Leaving military duty without permission and having no intention of coming back
- The soldier was court-martialed for desertion during a crucial operation.
- She filed for divorce on the grounds of desertion after her husband left for five years unannounced.
- They were charged with desertion for leaving their two-year-old home alone when they left town for vacation.