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I want to know if "conquer the desert" is the right way to talk about inhabiting desert by large numbers.Also,if there is any other verb that can be used other than "conquer" like "invade" or "overrun".

EX:To face the problem of overpopulation,it is necessary to conquer the desert.

P.S:A verb that doesn't refer to a negative or militaristic meaning.

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  • Would the word you're looking for work for things other than the desert? Like, say, the plains or the forest?
    – Mitch
    Oct 31 '18 at 18:15
  • Are you specifically looking for something with a connotation of military action or conflict?
    – Scott
    Nov 1 '18 at 6:49
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    Well, “settle” and “colonize” occurred to me immediately when I read the question, but other people had already posted them as answers by then.  “Occupy” and “move in” might not meet your needs exactly, but perhaps they could be used as jumping-off points (i.e., search for synonyms for them).  I realize that your question says “inhabiting … by large numbers”, but if the “large numbers” requirement is important enough to disqualify words like “settle”, it would be helpful if you emphasized that in the question. … (Cont’d)
    – Scott
    Nov 2 '18 at 17:59
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    @Scott I think the OP simply wants to avoid unnecessarily negative connotations in the metaphor. So 'colonize' or 'occupy' might not be the best, but 'settle' is probably what they want. to get more of a connotation of doing a lot of that... well there are lots of ways of saying that but not necessarily in a single word.
    – Mitch
    Nov 2 '18 at 18:20
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    @Scott No C&P error. 'Settle' is less tendentious than 'colonize'. I'm not psychic so I can't tell you why the OP accepted the more aggressive 'colonize'.
    – Mitch
    Nov 2 '18 at 20:33
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To face the problem of overpopulation, it is necessary to colonise the desert.

Colonise/colonize generally has the same sense of acquisition by power as conquer, but adds the element of human settlement that conquer lacks. In the above example, it would even be an appropriate term in the broader ecological sense of how the human species responds to population pressure.

colonize
(British colonise)

  1. Send settlers to (a place) and establish political control over it.
    1.1 Settle among and establish control over (the indigenous people of an area)
    1.2 Appropriate (a place or domain) for one's own use.
    1.3 Ecology: (of a plant or animal) establish itself in (an area)
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  • Thanks a lot for your help.So,can "conquer" or "invade" be used as well? Nov 1 '18 at 9:48
  • Invade is ok, but conquer would only be appropriate if you were being metaphorical, since it means "defeating an enemy". Nov 1 '18 at 12:13
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Maybe you could say: to settle throughout the desert?

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  • Maybe but it doesn't give the meaning of large numbers settling in the desert. Nov 1 '18 at 9:59
  • @AbdelrahmanEltaher I’d respectfully disagree. But I’m glad you feel your question has been answered. Nov 4 '18 at 6:11
  • :I definitely benefited from your answer so thanks for taking the time to help me with my problem. Nov 7 '18 at 0:40
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"pioneer the desert"

"Furthermore, as these populations increase, they will actually pioneer the desert and that is why so many people are needed, not so many tractors or machines." - Arne Garvi eden-foundation.org

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