Question is: it's well-established that if a place has been abandoned, it may be called 'deserted', but what about empty landscapes? If we want to say that no one's there (and never has been), would it still be 'deserted'? Dictionary entries (OALD, Dictionary.com, Cambridge) are a bit vague on this one.

Example sentence (of a barren wasteland where no one's ever lived): 'This place is ___'

Thanks in advance!

  • Maybe inhospitable to life forms / human life. Jul 17 at 1:32

1 Answer 1


It is uninhabited if no people are living there. It can be called “empty” if there are neither nor anything else we consider important. (Like the Sahara, we call it empty even though there is plenty of sand).

“Deserted” would be formerly inhabited, but all people left.

Your example sentence would be “empty”.

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