orient

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

Definition of orient

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to direct (something, such as a book or film) toward the interests of a particular group
2a : to set right by adjusting to facts or principles
b : to acquaint with the existing situation or environment
3a : 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

noun
ori·​ent | \ ˈȯr-ē-ənt How to pronounce orient (audio) , -ē-ˌent \

Definition of orient (Entry 2 of 3)

1 capitalized : 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
2a : a pearl of great luster
b : the luster of a pearl
3 archaic : east sense 1b

orient

adjective

Definition of orient (Entry 3 of 3)

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

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Examples of orient in a Sentence

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In the past twenty years alone, the ubiquity of G.P.S.-enabled maps has all but eradicated the need to orient on our own. Kathryn Schulz, The New Yorker, "Why Animals Don’t Get Lost," 29 Mar. 2021 Amazon gets bonus points for its Echo Show 10 device, which swivels to orient its screen toward wherever your voice is coming from. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "Amazon Echo vs. Google Nest: Which Smart Home Hub Is Better?," 24 Mar. 2021 The only remaining problem is how to orient the slices. Curtis Roelle, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Star Points: Celestial coordinate system helps maps out the sky," 6 Mar. 2021 Thus, a bird in flight might focus on a chorus of frogs in a pond far below in order to orient itself and correct for drift. Kathryn Schulz, The New Yorker, "Why Animals Don’t Get Lost," 29 Mar. 2021 His innovation was to orient the goal itself horizontally rather than vertically. John J. Miller, WSJ, "‘Miracles on the Hardwood’ Review: Faith, Hoops and Charity," 9 Apr. 2021 Faced with the shortage of government resources, Friends of Cedar Mesa volunteers opened a Bears Ears visitor center in 2018 to try to orient tourists. Washington Post, "Tourists and looters descend on Bears Ears as Biden mulls protections," 8 Apr. 2021 Was there anything specific that helped orient you around who Sharon is now? Nick Romano, EW.com, "Emily VanCamp teases the mystery of Sharon Carter on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier," 7 Apr. 2021 It's previously known that green sea turtles use Earth's magnetic field to navigate the ocean and orient themselves to their preferred course. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, "Researchers Are Investigating Why Marine Animals Swim in Perplexing Circles," 22 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The nature tours orient kids and adults to flora and fauna of the Lowcountry while educating them about conservation. Sucheta Rawal, Travel + Leisure, "The Best Places to Spot Wildlife in South Carolina," 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, "Don’t Lose Sight of Culture," 28 Dec. 2020 The woman, Janie Marshall, grabbed onto another patient’s IV pole to regain her balance and orient herself, the police said. New York Times, "Bleak Records in N.Y. and N.J., but Leaders See Coronavirus Curve Flattening," 8 Apr. 2020 The way our brain orients to making music on a guitar is just different to a keyboard layout. Dan Kopf, Quartz, "An update to a 37-year-old digital protocol could profoundly change the way music sounds," 30 Jan. 2020 Miljure recruits, orients and manages volunteers and community organizations who work to help brighten patients’ days. Anchorage Daily News, "Putting the ‘happy’ in the holidays for hospital patients," 18 Dec. 2019 Drawings are never easy to present to the public, but the video orients visitors who know the fresco. Cammy Brothers, WSJ, "Taking Shape Before Our Eyes," 14 June 2019 The culture of the political press orients individual practitioners toward their professional peers, rather than towards the users, or even towards the news. Ezra Klein, Vox, "Is the media making American politics worse?," 22 Oct. 2018 Paul Resnikoff, the publisher of Digital Music News, thinks Apple will keep the app going, but re-orient to send consumers to Apple Music. Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY, "What Apple is likely to do with Shazam, the early name-that-tune iPhone app," 11 Dec. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective 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, "The Alaskan Island That Humans Can’t Conquer," 7 Oct. 2020 The idea was to re-orient research toward local priorities—sea ice high among them. Matthew Halliday/undark, Popular Science, "Inuit researchers are leading a scientific movement to understand life on the ice," 29 May 2020 Vertically orient the lens inside the phone, and use a periscope-like prism to let in light. Popular Science, "The 100 greatest innovations of 2019," 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, "The Battle of Manila 75 years later: Benjamin Hall’s father’s story," 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, "Voyager 2 shut off its instruments to save power, NASA says," 29 Jan. 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, "What Voyager 2 has learned since entering interstellar space," 4 Nov. 2019 Each uses the sound of the city to orient and steady himself, finding peace in its tumult. Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker, "How Moondog Captured the Sounds of New York," 9 Dec. 2019 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, "What Voyager 2 has learned since entering interstellar space," 4 Nov. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of orient

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

History and Etymology for orient

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

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Time Traveler for orient

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for orient

Last Updated

6 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Orient.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/orient. Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for orient

orient

verb

English Language Learners Definition of orient

: to change or create (something, such as a book or a film) so that it appeals to a particular group of people or is suitable for a particular group of people
: to direct (someone) toward a goal
: to place (something) in a particular position or direction

orient

verb
ori·​ent | \ ˈōr-ē-ˌent How to pronounce orient (audio) \
oriented; orienting

Kids Definition of orient

1 : to set or arrange in a position especially so as to be lined up with certain points of the compass Builders oriented the house to face east.
2 : to make familiar with an existing situation or environment Volunteers are needed to orient new students.
3 : to direct toward the interests of a particular group The movie is oriented toward children.

Other Words from orient

orientation \ ˌōr-​ē-​ən-​ˈtā-​shən \ noun
ori·​ent | \ ˈōr-ē-ˌent, ˈȯr- How to pronounce orient (audio) \

Medical Definition of orient

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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Comments on orient

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