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[noun, adjective awr-ee-uh nt, ‐ee-ent, ohr-; verb awr-ee-ent, ohr‐] /noun, adjective ˈɔr i ənt, ‐iˌɛnt, ˈoʊr-; verb ˈɔr iˌɛnt, ˈoʊr‐/
the Orient,
  1. the countries of Asia, especially East Asia.
  2. (formerly) the countries to the E of the Mediterranean.
  1. an orient pearl.
  2. the iridescence of a pearl.
the east; the eastern region of the heavens or the world.
verb (used with object), Also, especially British, orientate
to adjust with relation to, or bring into due relation to surroundings, circumstances, facts, etc.
to familiarize (a person) with new surroundings or circumstances, or the like:
lectures designed to orient the new students.
to place in any definite position with reference to the points of the compass or other locations:
to orient a building north and south.
to direct or position toward a particular object:
Orient it toward that house.
to determine the position of in relation to the points of the compass; get the bearings of.
to place so as to face the east, especially to build (a church) with the chief altar to the east and the chief entrance to the west.
Surveying. to set (the horizontal circle of a surveying instrument) so that readings give correct azimuths.
Mathematics. to assign to (a surface) a constant, outward direction at each point.
verb (used without object), Also, especially British, orientate
to turn toward the east or in any specified direction.
(of a gem or pearl) exceptionally fine and lustrous; oriental.
Archaic. rising or appearing, especially as from below the horizon:
the orient sun.
Origin of orient
1350-1400; Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin orient- (stem of oriēns) “the east, sunrise,” noun use of present participle of orīrī “to rise”; see -ent
Related forms
orienter, noun
self-oriented, adjective
well-oriented, adjective
5. accustom, relate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for orienting
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There was no standardized method of orienting oneself in a city.

    Anything You Can Do ... Gordon Randall Garrett
  • He stood for a moment, orienting himself with the tower the center of his calculations.

    Quest of the Golden Ape Ivar Jorgensen
  • orienting himself he found he was gripping a brace of the open-mounted motor on one of the Waste Disposal Cylinders.

    Far from Home J.A. Taylor
  • More trivial systems, like those used in orienting troops in the desert, are a matter of routine.

  • A sketcher at an unknown point may locate himself from two visible known points by setting up and orienting his sketching board.

  • Lay the paper over an area of low pressure on any weather map, centering and orienting it properly, as in the previous exercises.

  • Place this diagram over a cyclone on any weather map, centering and orienting it carefully.

  • This leads to neutralisation, the organ placing itself at right angles to the orienting stimulus.

  • The first day we spent in orienting ourselves, getting the kitchens arranged and the billets comfortable.

    Average Americans Theodore Roosevelt
British Dictionary definitions for orienting


noun the Orient
the countries east of the Mediterranean
the eastern hemisphere


noun (ˈɔːrɪənt)
(poetic) another word for east Compare occident
(archaic) the eastern sky or the dawn
  1. the iridescent lustre of a pearl
  2. (as modifier): orient pearls
a pearl of high quality
adjective (ˈɔːrɪənt)
(mainly poetic) eastern
(archaic) (of the sun, stars, etc) rising
verb (ˈɔːrɪˌɛnt)
to adjust or align (oneself or something else) according to surroundings or circumstances
(transitive) to position, align, or set (a map, surveying instrument, etc) with reference to the points of the compass or other specific directions
(transitive) to set or build (a church) in an easterly direction
Word Origin
C18: via French from Latin oriēns rising (sun), from orīrī to rise
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 orienting



c.1300, "the East" (originally usually meaning what is now called the Middle East), from Old French orient "east" (11c.), from Latin orientem (nominative oriens) "the rising sun, the east, part of the sky where the sun rises," originally "rising" (adj.), present participle of oriri "to rise" (see orchestra). The Orient Express was a train that ran from Paris to Istanbul via Vienna 1883-1961, from the start associated with espionage and intrigue.



c.1727, originally "to arrange facing east," from French s'orienter "to take one's bearings," literally "to face the east" (also the source of German orientierung), from Old French orient "east," from Latin orientum (see Orient (n.)). Extended meaning "determine bearings" first attested 1842; figurative sense is from 1850. Related: Oriented; orienting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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orienting in Medicine

orient o·ri·ent (ôr'ē-ənt, -ěnt')
v. or·i·ent·ed, or·i·ent·ing, or·i·ents

  1. To locate or place in a particular relation to the points of the compass.

  2. To align or position with respect to a point or system of reference.

  3. To make familiar with or adjusted to facts, principles, or a situation.

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