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[dis-awr-ee-uh n-teyt, -ohr-] /dɪsˈɔr i ənˌteɪt, -ˈoʊr-/
verb (used with object), disorientated, disorientating.
to disorient.
Origin of disorientate
First recorded in 1695-1705; dis-1 + orientate
Related forms
disorientation, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for disorientation
Contemporary Examples
  • During the height of the crisis, Westergaard described the disorientation and dislocation of living under guard.

  • Evident in Twilight Visions is the disorientation between the changing physical city and its effect on cultural habits.

    Dreaming of Paris Philip Gefter January 28, 2010
Historical Examples
  • The sense of disorientation set up by the tractors was subsiding.

    Alarm Clock

    Everett B. Cole
  • This morning, however, the sense of disorientation did not pass with full wakefulness.

    Monkey On His Back Charles V. De Vet
  • There was an elusive sense of disorientation, a feeling of something overlooked.

    The Short Life Francis Donovan
  • The feeling of disorientation and foreignness was new to Perry.


    Cory Doctorow
  • disorientation is a state of mental confusion as to time, place, or identity.

  • You are suffering from distorted perception—illusions and hallucinations, disorientation.

    A Thought For Tomorrow Robert E. Gilbert
  • Drugged with fatigue, the younger man slept, awaking to full day, a fog of bewilderment and disorientation.

    Star Hunter Andre Alice Norton
  • We jumped again, the sickness of disorientation forcing a moan from the girl, and darkness shivered round us.

    The Door Through Space Marion Zimmer Bradley
British Dictionary definitions for disorientation


verb (transitive)
to cause (someone) to lose his bearings
to perplex; confuse
Derived Forms
disorientation, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for disorientation

1860; see dis- + orientation.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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disorientation in Medicine

disorientation dis·o·ri·en·ta·tion (dĭs-ôr'ē-ěn-tā'shən)

  1. Loss of one's sense of direction, position, or relationship with one's surroundings.

  2. A temporary or permanent state of confusion regarding place, time, or personal identity.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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