from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.
- intransitive verb To orient.
- intransitive verb To face or turn to the east.
from The Century Dictionary.
- 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
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.
- transitive verb To place or turn toward the east; to cause to assume an easterly direction, or to veer eastward.
- transitive verb 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 verb Same as
- intransitive verb To move or turn toward the east; to veer from the north or south toward the east.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
- verb UK, intransitive To
face(a given direction).
- verb UK, reflexive To
determineone's position relativeto the surroundings; to orient(oneself).
- verb UK, transitive To
position(something), to alignrelative to a given position.
- verb archaic To move or turn toward the east; to veer from the north or south toward the east.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- verb determine one's position with reference to another point
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
In most cases, though, this slight differentiation seems likely to be increasingly eroded, if the development of orient and orientate is anything to go by.
Some decades ago, Eric Partridge noted in Usage and Abusage that orientate is correct as an intransitive (“to face in a particular direction”), but that orient is preferable in all other senses.
Start with your idea or premise and keep it by you on a sticky note to orientate yourself.
In the thick fog, only sounds helped him orientate himself.
"At that point, I sort of was just trying to come around and kind of orientate myself to what was going on," Arias explained.
Since then orientate has been used by writers such as Aldous Huxley, Margaret Mead, [...] ‘Not a word’ is not an argument « Sentence first says:
Since then, orientate has been used by writers such as Aldous Huxley, Margaret Mead, Tennessee Williams, and Randolph Quirk, but this has not stopped it from being criticised.
American commentators continue to object to orientate (used more frequently by the British), mainly because orient is shorter but also because the figurative use is outstripping the literal one.
Orient (v) and orientate (v) are all but interchangeable.
Plant leaves and stems orientate themselves towards the light.