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de·sert·i·fi·ca·tion

desertification

 
pronunciation:
dih zuhrt ih fih keI shn
part of speech: noun
definition: the transformation of fertile land to desert by natural causes, esp. drought, or through human activity such as deforestation, overgrazing, and the like.
Because of desertification, these lands can no longer produce crops or be grazed upon by cattle.