[ noun, adjective awr-ee-uhnt, ‐ee-ent, ohr-; verb awr-ee-ent, ohr‐ ]
/ noun, adjective ˈɔr i ənt, ‐iˌɛnt, ˈoʊr-; verb ˈɔr iˌɛnt, ˈoʊr‐ /
- the countries of Asia, especially East Asia.
- (formerly) the countries to the E of the Mediterranean.
- an orient pearl.
- 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.
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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
OTHER WORDS FROM oriento·ri·ent·er, nounself-o·ri·ent·ed, adjectivewell-o·ri·ent·ed, adjective
Words nearby orient
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for the orient (1 of 2)
/ (ˈɔːrɪənt) /
noun the Orient
the countries east of the Mediterranean
the eastern hemisphere
British Dictionary definitions for the orient (2 of 2)
mainly poetic eastern
archaic (of the sun, stars, etc) rising
to adjust or align (oneself or something else) according to surroundings or circumstances
(tr) to position, align, or set (a map, surveying instrument, etc) with reference to the points of the compass or other specific directions
(tr) to set or build (a church) in an easterly direction
Word Origin for orient
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
Medical definitions for the orient
[ ôr′ē-ənt, -ĕnt′ ]
To locate or place in a particular relation to the points of the compass.
To align or position with respect to a point or system of reference.
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.
Cultural definitions for the orient
Term referring to Asia. Orient means “the East,” as opposed to Occident, “the West.”
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.