[ noun, adjective awr-ee-uhnt, ‐ee-ent, ohr-; verb awr-ee-ent, ohr‐ ]
See synonyms for: orientoriented on Thesaurus.com

  1. Older Use.the Orient,

    • the countries of Asia, especially East Asia.

    • (formerly) the countries to the east of the Mediterranean.

  2. Jewelry.

    • an orient pearl.

    • the iridescence of a pearl.

  1. the east; the eastern region of the heavens or the world.

verb (used with object)Also especially British, orientate .
  1. to adjust with relation to, or bring into due relation to surroundings, circumstances, facts, etc.

  2. to familiarize (a person) with new surroundings or circumstances, or the like: lectures designed to orient the new students.

  1. to place in any definite position with reference to the points of the compass or other locations: to orient a building north and south.

  2. to direct or position toward a particular object: Orient it toward that house.

  3. to determine the position of in relation to the points of the compass; get the bearings of.

  4. 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.

  5. Surveying. to set (the horizontal circle of a surveying instrument) so that readings give correct azimuths.

  6. Mathematics. to assign to (a surface) a constant, outward direction at each point.

verb (used without object)Also especially British, orientate .
  1. to turn toward the east or in any specified direction.

  1. (of a gem or pearl) exceptionally fine and lustrous; oriental.

  2. Archaic. rising or appearing, especially as from below the horizon: the orient sun.

Origin of orient

First recorded in 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

Other words for orient

Other words from orient

  • o·ri·ent·er, noun
  • self-o·ri·ent·ed, adjective
  • well-o·ri·ent·ed, adjective

Words Nearby orient

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use orient in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for orient (1 of 2)


  1. poetic another word for east Compare occident

  2. archaic the eastern sky or the dawn

    • the iridescent lustre of a pearl

    • (as modifier): orient pearls

  1. a pearl of high quality

  1. mainly poetic eastern

  2. archaic (of the sun, stars, etc) rising

  1. to adjust or align (oneself or something else) according to surroundings or circumstances

  2. (tr) to position, align, or set (a map, surveying instrument, etc) with reference to the points of the compass or other specific directions

  1. (tr) to set or build (a church) in an easterly direction

Origin of orient

C18: via French from Latin oriēns rising (sun), from orīrī to rise

British Dictionary definitions for Orient (2 of 2)


/ (ˈɔːrɪənt) /

nounthe Orient
  1. the countries east of the Mediterranean

  2. the eastern hemisphere

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