ori·​en·​tate ˈȯr-ē-ən-ˌtāt How to pronounce orientate (audio)
orientated; orientating

intransitive verb

: to face or turn to the east
situated the church so that it orientates

transitive verb

chiefly British
: orient
she learned to orientate new service members in the principles, practices and tools necessary to function in the Air ForceLancaster New Era

Did you know?

Orientate is a synonym of orient. Both can mean "to cause to face toward the east." The proper noun Orient refers to "the East." The verbs, however, have broader meanings that relate to setting or determining direction or position, either literally or figuratively. Orientate tends to be used more often in British English than it is in American English.

Examples of orientate in a Sentence

a program that helps to orientate new students She needs to orientate herself to her new job.
Recent Examples on the Web There is discernible roll under cornering loads, but only to an extent that helps to orientate the driver to growing lateral forces. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, 19 July 2023 The tablet can also be mounted on a standard VESA mount arm, and Xencelabs said a multi-axis stand that can freely orientate the tablet vertically or horizontally will be available to purchase separately (though no price or release date has been mentioned). Jess Weatherbed, The Verge, 24 Mar. 2023 Some birds can sense the Earth’s magnetic field and orientate themselves with the ease of a compass needle. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 8 July 2010 Even on clear moonless nights, many beetles still manage to orientate along straight paths. Ncbi Rofl, Discover Magazine, 2 Apr. 2013 In a planetarium, the beetles orientate equally well when rolling under a full starlit sky as when only the Milky Way is present. Ncbi Rofl, Discover Magazine, 2 Apr. 2013 The first thing to look for is what’s called the square of Pegasus, although this time of year the square is orientated diagonally in the sky, so look for a giant diamond of four stars about halfway up in the east-southeastern sky. Mike Lynch, Twin Cities, 20 Oct. 2019 To many, the discussion was long overdue in male orientated South Korea, which ranks well below the global average on the 2018 Global Gender Gap report, with major disparities in terms of wage equality and earned income for women. Jake Kwon, CNN, 21 Sep. 2019 Tumblr has been noted for having a permissive attitude towards NSFW and adult-orientated content on its service, which has previously caused it to be briefly banned in Indonesia. Jon Porter, The Verge, 20 Nov. 2018 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'orientate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1848, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of orientate was in 1848


Dictionary Entries Near orientate

Cite this Entry

“Orientate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/orientate. Accessed 2 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


ori·​en·​tate ˈōr-ē-ən-ˌtāt How to pronounce orientate (audio)
orientated; orientating
: orient
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