from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To orient: "He . . . stood for a moment, orientating himself exactly in the light of his knowledge” ( John le Carré).
  • intransitive v. To face or turn to the east.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To face (a given direction).
  • v. To determine one's position relative to the surroundings; to orient (oneself).
  • v. To position (something), to align relative to a given position.
  • v. To move or turn toward the east; to veer from the north or south toward the east.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To move or turn toward the east; to veer from the north or south toward the east.
  • transitive v. To place or turn toward the east; to cause to assume an easterly direction, or to veer eastward.
  • transitive v. To arrange in order; to dispose or place (a body) so as to show its relation to other bodies, or the relation of its parts among themselves.
  • transitive v. Same as orient{2}.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To turn or cause to turn toward the east; cause to assume an easterly direction or aspect; orient; specifically, to place (a church) with its altar-end toward the east. See orient, v., 2.
  • To determine or ascertain the position of, especially with reference to the east; determine or fix the position or bearings of; figuratively, to take one's proper bearings mentally.
  • To place, as a crystal, in such a position as to show clearly the true relation of the several parts.
  • To assume an easterly direction; turn or veer toward the east; specifically (ecclesiastical), to be so constructed that the end nearest the altar or high altar (ecclesiastically accounted the eastern end) is directed toward a certain point of the compass; especially, to be so placed that the conventional eastern end is directed toward the geographical east.
  • To worship toward the east; especially, to celebrate the eucharist in the eastward position — that is, facing the altar. See eastward, a.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. determine one's position with reference to another point


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From orient +‎ -ate, perhaps after orientation.



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  • I notice the definitions on orientation include things like this:

    n. The act of orienting or the state of being oriented.

    July 17, 2016

  • I'd miss the noun orientation though, as orienting would sound awkward.

    * The new students very much looked forward to Orienting Week.

    July 17, 2016

  • Dear Wordnik, can we not abolish this word and (dear everyone) can we please laugh out loud at its every use? It sounds so childish; orient is a perfectly fine substitute in all cases.

    July 17, 2016

  • Really? That sounds amusing.

    *wanders over to the Pronunciations page*

    December 11, 2010

  • When I hear this word, I desire to howl and moan like a rheumatic iguana.

    December 11, 2010

  • Why not just use "orient?" Arghh.

    April 15, 2009

  • This word has always grated on me as well. Yet I am surprised to learn that no less of an author than John LeCarre used it in one of his novels (used as a citation on definition). And it has a second definition of "facing towards the east."

    February 16, 2007

  • Ditto. That's why it's on my list of words I don't like. Grrrr.

    February 16, 2007

  • grrrr. orientated is one of my main rubbies!

    February 16, 2007