1 : to set or arrange in a definite position especially in relation to the points of the compass
2 : to acquaint with the existing situation or environment
3 : to direct (as a book or film) toward the interests of a particular group
Did You Know?
Orientate is a synonym of orient, and it has attracted criticism as a consequence. Orient, which dates from the early 18th century, is in fact the older of the two verbs—orientate joined the language in the mid-19th century. Both can mean "to cause to face toward the east" and, not surprisingly, they are related to the noun Orient, meaning "the East." Both also have broader meanings that relate to setting or determining direction or position, either literally or figuratively. Some critics dislike orientate because it is one syllable longer than orient, but you can decide for yourself how important that consideration is to you. Personal choice is the primary deciding factor, although orientate tends to be used more often in British English than it is in American English.
The program is designed to orientate new students to the college and community.
"… the conference's focus was orientated toward the production side of organic farming, which is most beneficial to individual farmers." — Nathan J. Tohtsoni, The Gallup (New Mexico) Independent, 28 Feb. 2017
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