Word of the Day : April 30, 2017

orientate

play
verb OR-ee-un-tayt

Definition

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

Examples

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



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.



Test Your Memory

What is the meaning of brachiate, our April 3rd Word of the Day?

VIEW THE ANSWER

Podcast


More Words of the Day

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!