dis·​ori·​ent | \(ˌ)dis-ˈȯr-ē-ˌent \

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

Déraciné’s story is purposefully disjointed and occasionally disorienting, regularly jumping back and forth in time. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "Déraciné is a short, somber VR story from the creators of Dark Souls," 6 Nov. 2018 So begins the boy’s disorienting confinement in a story that is as spine-tingling as it is well written. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, "Children’s Books: Freakiness and Fortitude," 19 July 2018 Groggy and disoriented, Mave staggered to her feet and bound up the stump of her left arm with some cloth. Nick Turse, Teen Vogue, "The Democratic Republic of Congo Has Humanitarian Crises Leaving Millions of Children In Danger," 14 Nov. 2018 Hoz described the sewage pipe system as a disorienting labyrinth. Katherine Lam, Fox News, "Boy, 13, found alive after falling into Los Angeles drainage ditch 'maze'," 2 Oct. 2018 At first, all these Scorpio vibes may feel a bit disorienting, but don’t fret. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What October's Gemini Horoscope Means for You," 30 Sep. 2018 On occasion the segues into gypsy anecdotes seem forced; the frequent narrative leaps can be disorienting. The Economist, "A British traveller’s travelogue," 12 July 2018 Most disorienting was the ineffectiveness of the Capitals’ top line, headlined by Ovechkin and the resplendent center Evgeny Kuznetsov, which had combined for 58 points in 19 games these playoffs. Ben Shpigel, New York Times, "In the Stanley Cup Finals, Alex Ovechkin’s Legacy Continues to Evolve," 29 May 2018 My awe felt disorienting, tipping from euphoria into sheer panic. Angelica Baker, Vogue, "Going One-on-One with Greatness at Michael Jordan’s Summer Camp," 13 July 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

7 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for disorient

The first known use of disorient was in 1655

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More Definitions for disorient



English Language Learners Definition of disorient

: to make (someone) lost or confused


transitive verb
dis·​ori·​ent | \(ˈ)dis-ˈōr-ē-ˌent, -ˈȯr- \

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

Comments on disorient

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to enclose within walls

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