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 Force Lancaster 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.

Example Sentences

a program that helps to orientate new students She needs to orientate herself to her new job.
Recent Examples on the Web 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 For once, Cardiff were the butt of most jokes from football fans everywhere and surprisingly the jokes weren't all sheep orientated. SI.com, 8 July 2018 The videos will be vertically-orientated, full-screen, up to 4K resolution, and as long as 60 minutes (instead of the current limit of 60 seconds). James Vincent, The Verge, 20 June 2018 Speaking to the Inquirer and Daily News, Harris said his role with NBC Sports Philadelphia changed back in September, leading him to do more digitally-orientated work involving podcasts and Facebook Live segments. Rob Tornoe, Philly.com, 9 Apr. 2018 This alignment, according to Tim Pauketat, professor of anthropology at the University of Illinois, is tied to the summer solstice sunrise and the southern maximum moonrise, orientating Cahokia to the movement of both the sun and the moon. Sarah E. Baires, Smithsonian, 23 Feb. 2018 Paul, 22, is one of YouTube's top content creators, regularly drawing millions of views from his mainly youth-orientated audience. NBC News, 11 Jan. 2018 See More

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

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 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



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