[awr-ee-uh n-tey-shuh n, -en-, ohr-]


Origin of orientation

First recorded in 1830–40; orientate + -ion
Related formso·ri·en·ta·tive, adjectivenon·o·ri·en·ta·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for orientation

Contemporary Examples of orientation

Historical Examples of orientation

  • It can be used to induce any orientation desired in the mind of the enemy.

    Cubs of the Wolf

    Raymond F. Jones

  • But the orientation of the stars behind them had been familiar.

    Invaders from the Infinite

    John Wood Campbell

  • He could see many of its faults, but he didn't have the orientation to see all of them.

    The Highest Treason

    Randall Garrett

  • Finally, satisfied with the ship's orientation, the autopilot rested.

    Pushbutton War

    Joseph P. Martino

  • Orientation conditioned by individual organization, 48;Personal, 270.

British Dictionary definitions for orientation



the act or process of orienting or the state of being oriented
position or positioning with relation to the points of the compass or other specific directions
the adjustment or alignment of oneself or one's ideas to surroundings or circumstances
Also called: orientation course mainly US and Canadian
  1. a course, programme, lecture, etc, introducing a new situation or environment
  2. (as modifier)an orientation talk
psychol the knowledge of one's own temporal, social, and practical circumstances in life
basic beliefs or preferencessexual orientation
biology the change in position of the whole or part of an organism in response to a stimulus, such as light
chem the relative dispositions of atoms, ions, or groups in molecules or crystals
the siting of a church on an east-west axis, usually with the altar at the E end
Derived Formsorientational, adjective
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

Word Origin and History for orientation

1839, originally "arrangement of a building, etc., to face east or any other specified direction," noun of action from orient (v.). Sense of "action of determining one's bearings" is from 1868. Meaning "introduction to a situation" is from 1942.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

orientation in Medicine




The act of orienting or the state of being oriented.
Location or position relative to the points of the compass.
The relative position of one atom with respect to another to which it is connected.
Sexual orientation.
Introductory instruction concerning a new situation.
Awareness of the objective world in relation to one's self.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.