orient

1 of 3

verb

ori·​ent ˈȯr-ē-ˌent How to pronounce orient (audio)
oriented; orienting; orients

transitive verb

1
: to direct (something, such as a book or film) toward the interests of a particular group
2
a
: to set right by adjusting to facts or principles
b
: to acquaint with the existing situation or environment
3
a
: to set or arrange in any determinate position especially in relation to the points of the compass
b
: to ascertain the bearings of
c
: to cause to face or point toward the east
specifically : to build (a church or temple) with the longitudinal axis pointing eastward and the chief altar at the eastern end
4
: to cause the axes of the molecules of (a fiber or material) to assume the same direction

orient

2 of 3

noun

1
Orient : regions or countries lying to the east of a specified or implied point : the eastern regions or countries of the world : east sense 2
formerly understood to include regions (such as the Middle East) lying to the east and southeast of southern Europe but now usually understood to refer to regions and countries of eastern Asia
sailed for the Orient
2
a
: a pearl of great luster
b
: the luster of a pearl
3
archaic : east sense 1b

orient

3 of 3

adjective

1
a
: lustrous, sparkling
orient gems
b
archaic : radiant, glowing
2
archaic : oriental sense 1
3
archaic : rising in the sky

Example Sentences

Verb The program is intended to orient students toward a career in medicine. Orient the map so that north is at the top. The house is oriented so that it faces west.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
The ceilings are marked with numbers and QR codes to help the robots orient themselves. Daisuke Wakabayashi, New York Times, 17 Nov. 2022 The Coast Guard’s command center helped orient the search-and-rescue teams by taking that image and comparing it with other maps and reference points, Keefe added. María Luisa Paúl, Washington Post, 14 Oct. 2022 Even with skateboarding, Ferraro uses a cane to orient himself. Michelle Bruton, Forbes, 4 Oct. 2022 Morris believes many contemporary artists are struggling to orient themselves in the face of an environmental crisis. Siobhan Reid, Smithsonian Magazine, 2 Sep. 2022 In this view, the monarchy offers stability, unity, and consistency, helping to orient people amid the tumults of democracy. Suzanne Schneider, The New Republic, 27 Sep. 2022 We were asked to orient ourselves to land once home to Tatviam, Chumash and Tongva peoples. Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times, 10 Sep. 2022 Simply orient yourself to put some sort of screen between that bright moon and your vantage point. Eric Mack, Forbes, 11 Aug. 2022 It’s a word or phrase to hold in your heart and orient your flow. Catherine Mevs, The New Yorker, 13 Sep. 2022
Noun
So Robson made sure there was a prominent steady object to orient viewers. Gavin Edwards, New York Times, 29 Oct. 2022 There may be nothing more important than the ability to recognize personal and professional vulnerabilities and shortcomings, orient to learning and development, and access and leverage the knowledge and strengths of others as a force-multiplier. Alexander Stein, Forbes, 11 Oct. 2022 At online conferences, saying your name before starting your talk helps orient participants who might be listening to the call without video. Anne Quito, Quartz, 25 Mar. 2022 At Pompeii, the soft robotic hands will need to grasp, move and orient fragments of varying sizes and weights with extreme care—and gather information about them in the process. Jen Pinkowski, Scientific American, 6 Dec. 2021 In another sense, our values orient and order our desires. Kathy Caprino, Forbes, 4 June 2021 Teach people to step back and observe, orient, decide, then act. Andrew Olsen, Forbes, 5 May 2021 The nature tours orient kids and adults to flora and fauna of the Lowcountry while educating them about conservation. Sucheta Rawal, Travel + Leisure, 26 Feb. 2021 Day-to-day politics is of intrinsic interest for us political animals, and the issues of the day orient much or most of our political reflection. Daniel J. Mahoney, National Review, 28 Dec. 2020
Adjective
This is still an important aspect, but the newer focus is now on taking additional steps to not only observe or orient, but being able to track and predict the trajectory of any phenomenon. Kathleen Walch, Forbes, 16 Oct. 2021 It’s time we re-orient goals or OKRs to align with this new thinking around best people practices and to create an aligned sense of purpose across the entire organization. Beth Thornton, Forbes, 21 June 2021 Across the country, and in many parts of the globe, those who did not have to be on-site somewhere used their extra time without the commute and travel to re-orient, re-engage, and re-focus on themselves. David Rock, Forbes, 2 June 2021 In 1943, the US Coast Guard established a long-range navigation (Loran) site on the southwestern coast of the island, part of a network that helped fighter planes and warships orient on the Pacific with the help of regular pulses of radio waves. Sarah Gilman, Smithsonian Magazine, 7 Oct. 2020 The idea was to re-orient research toward local priorities—sea ice high among them. Matthew Halliday/undark, Popular Science, 29 May 2020 Vertically orient the lens inside the phone, and use a periscope-like prism to let in light. Popular Science, 3 Dec. 2019 The city, once the pearl of the orient, was totally destroyed – shelling and street-to-street fighting left little standing. Fox News, 5 Mar. 2020 If fuel can't power the thrusters that make sure both probes orient their antennae toward Earth, engineers wouldn't be able to receive data or communicate with the probes. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 29 Jan. 2020 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Verb

French orienter, from Middle French, from orient

Noun and Adjective

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin orient-, oriens, from present participle of oriri to rise; akin to Sanskrit ṛṇoti he moves, arises, Greek ornynai to rouse, oros mountain

First Known Use

Verb

1728, in the meaning defined at sense 3c

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of orient was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near orient

Cite this Entry

“Orient.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/orient. Accessed 2 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

orient 1 of 2

verb

ori·​ent
ˈōr-ē-ˌent,
ˈȯr-
1
a
: to cause to face toward the east
b
: to set or arrange in a definite position especially in relation to the points of the compass
2
: to acquaint with a situation or environment
orient new students
3
: to direct towards the interests of a particular group
movies that are oriented toward teenagers

Orient

2 of 2

noun

Ori·​ent
ˈōr-ē-ənt,
ˈȯr-,
-ē-ˌent
: east entry 3 sense 2
especially : the countries of eastern Asia

Medical Definition

1
: to set or arrange in any determinate position especially in relation to the points of the compass
2
: to acquaint with or adjust according to the existing situation or environment
3
: to cause the axes of the molecules of to assume the same direction

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