Pronunciation: (di-zûr"tu-fi-kā'shun),[key] —n.Ecol. 1. the processes by which an area becomes a desert.
2. the rapid depletion of plant life and the loss of topsoil at desert boundaries and in semiarid regions, usually caused by a combination of drought and the overexploitation of grasses and other vegetation by people. Also,des•ert•i•za•tionPronunciation: (dez"ur-tu-zā'shun).[key]Cf. aridification.