disorient

verb
dis·​ori·​ent | \ (ˌ)dis-ˈȯr-ē-ˌent How to pronounce disorient (audio) \
disoriented; disorienting; disorients

Definition of disorient

transitive verb

1a : to cause to lose bearings : displace from normal position or relationship
b : to cause to lose the sense of time, place, or identity
2 : confuse

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Examples of disorient in a Sentence

Thick fog can disorient even an experienced hiker. troops disoriented by the sudden change in battle plans

Recent Examples on the Web

But give yourself some time to adjust and Martel's style, at once immersive and disorienting, starts to feel like a corrective, a clearer way of seeing and hearing. Justin Chang, latimes.com, "Lucrecia Martel's 'Zama' is a feverishly brilliant tale of European colonialism and its discontents," 26 Apr. 2018 Third, the disorienting speed of change has provided an opening for authoritarian leaders, who tout their ability to respond rapidly to shifting events. James Stavridis, Time, "Democracy Isn't Perfect, But It Will Still Prevail," 12 July 2018 The minivan's driver Alva Richards, 35, of Waubeka, was disoriented in the driver's seat when a deputy arrived. Robert Gearty, Fox News, "Photos show minivan embedded in side of house after crash," 7 July 2018 Based on the bestselling novel by Gillian Flynn, Sharp Objects is slow, disorienting, and sometimes even painful to watch. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "TV Technica 2018: Our favorite shows and binges," 24 Dec. 2018 This journey through space and time has an unsettling and disorienting effect. Constance Grady, Vox, "We read all 25 National Book Award finalists for 2018. Here’s what we thought.," 15 Nov. 2018 Practitioners of other religions may be respected as good people, but sustained curiosity about their beliefs and rituals can be disorienting to many believers. Gordon Mehler, WSJ, "Common Ground for a Wiccan and a Rabbi?," 1 Nov. 2018 Trying to escape while the aircraft is spinning in the water is a sure way to disorient yourself and minimize your chance of survival. Eric Adams, WIRED, "Inside the Safety Issues Surrounding the NY Helicopter Crash," 8 Apr. 2018 Talking to these men is disorienting, an exercise in double vision — the images don’t align. Peter Rowe, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Echo Yard, where normal prison rules no longer apply," 8 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'disorient.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of disorient

1655, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for disorient

French désorienter, from dés- dis- + orienter to orient

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Statistics for disorient

Last Updated

30 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for disorient

The first known use of disorient was in 1655

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More Definitions for disorient

disorient

verb

English Language Learners Definition of disorient

: to make (someone) lost or confused

disorient

transitive verb
dis·​ori·​ent | \ (ˈ)dis-ˈōr-ē-ˌent, -ˈȯr- How to pronounce disorient (audio) \

Medical Definition of disorient

: to produce a state of disorientation in : disorientate the next day the patient was disoriented but not comatoseJournal of the American Medical Association

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More from Merriam-Webster on disorient

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with disorient

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for disorient

Spanish Central: Translation of disorient

Nglish: Translation of disorient for Spanish Speakers

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