[ awr-ee-uh n-tey-shuh n, -en-, ohr- ]
/ ˌɔr i ənˈteɪ ʃən, -ɛn-, ˌoʊr- /


Nearby words

  1. orientalism,
  2. orientalist,
  3. orientalize,
  4. orientate,
  5. orientated,
  6. oriente,
  7. oriented,
  8. orienteer,
  9. orienteering,
  10. orienting reflex

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

British Dictionary definitions for orientation


/ (ˌɔːrɪɛnˈteɪʃən) /


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

Medicine definitions for orientation


[ ôr′ē-ən-tāshən ]


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.