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

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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 As early as the 1910s, researchers observed the dead bodies of birds that, disoriented by and attracted to the lights shining at night, had flown smack into smokestacks, lighthouses, tall buildings, and other structures. BostonGlobe.com, "In the meantime, I still relish my chances to take that college girlfriend, who is now my wife, and our two daughters out to the country and show them the lightshow and the galaxy that they are missing in the city.," 21 Sep. 2019 Travel can be depleting, disorienting, and perhaps most significantly, dehydrating. Amiel Stanek, Bon Appétit, "I’d Stay at This Hotel For the Free Sparkling Water Alone," 11 Nov. 2019 But the experience sounded strange, disorienting, and mysterious. Allegra Ringo, Allure, "The Complete Guide to Ketamine Therapy for Depression, From Someone Who’s Tried It," 30 Oct. 2019 Instead of sinking below the horizon, the sun moves in an ellipse, perpetually overhead and completely disorienting to anyone who’s never experienced it. BostonGlobe.com, "In Norway, so much beauty — 24 hours a day — and fear of its demise - The Boston Globe," 26 Sep. 2019 The arrangements are just as bold, and occasionally disorienting. Greg Kot, chicagotribune.com, "Review: Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes turns solo debut into a personal manifesto," 20 Sep. 2019 Speaking with Peters, study co-author Bridget Stutchbury, a biologist at York, notes that extended rest stops can leave birds—already disoriented by the toxic chemical—vulnerable to predators. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Common Pesticides Delay Songbird Migration, Trigger Significant Weight Loss," 14 Sep. 2019 Your loved one often becomes lost or disoriented when driving. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Ask Veronica — When is the right time to take the car keys?," 21 Aug. 2019 Still, Thursday night’s heat mixed with a dizzying amount of home runs after the fourth inning was downright disorienting. Shayna Rubin, The Mercury News, "Oakland Athletics out-slug the mighty Houston Astros in win," 15 Aug. 2019

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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Time Traveler for disorient

Time Traveler

The first known use of disorient was in 1655

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Statistics for disorient

Last Updated

7 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Disorient.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disorient. Accessed 14 December 2019.

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More Definitions for disorient


How to pronounce disorient (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of disorient

: to make (someone) lost or confused


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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for disorient

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with disorient

Spanish Central: Translation of disorient

Nglish: Translation of disorient for Spanish Speakers

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