Definition of orient in English:



  • 1literary The countries of the East, especially East Asia.

    ‘the treasures of the Orient’
  • 2[mass noun] The special lustre of a pearl of the finest quality (with reference to fine pearls from the East).

    • ‘The great value of this necklace was due not only to the size, the perfect shape and orient of the separate pearls, but to the fact that the whole set was perfectly matched.’
    • ‘Then from the inner room came the servants again, carrying two crowns like great hieratic tiaras, barbaric diadems, composed of pearls of the finest orient.’
    1. 2.1[count noun]A pearl of the finest quality.
      • ‘Henry II had a hawk-glove sewn with twelve rubies and fifty-two great orients.’


  • 1literary Situated in or belonging to the east; oriental.

    ‘orient kings’
    • ‘The main and the biggest city, the capital of Japan - Tokyo - can be the starting point to this orient country.’
    • ‘They were highly suspicious looking with lots of orient carpets and artwork but not really anything else.’
    1. 1.1(of the sun, daylight, etc.) rising.
      ‘the orient moon’
      • ‘The orient sun through morning mist.’
      • ‘As when the orient sun upsprings and his pure beam on Meru flings.’
      • ‘A many-tinted, radiant Aurora, this fairest of Orient Light-bringers.’
  • 2(especially of precious stones) lustrous.

    • ‘These pearls are orient, but they yield in whiteness to your teeth.’


  • 1Align or position (something) relative to the points of a compass or other specified positions.

    ‘the fires are oriented in direct line with the midsummer sunset’
    • ‘The buildings are seen to be resting firmly on the ground, and fences or other features help the viewer to orient structures in relation to their site.’
    • ‘The teeth are closely spaced and positioned so that the serrations are obliquely oriented relative to the long axis of the tooth row.’
    • ‘The young shooters also practiced another important rule: A safe, low-ready position orients the muzzle at about a 45-degree angle.’
    • ‘As the user moves, the map moves and turns, always placing the GPS position in the middle of the screen and orienting the map to user trajectory.’
    • ‘In it five symbols a star, cross, circle, wavy line and square were oriented randomly in columns of 25.’
    • ‘The main structural members are oriented perpendicular to the ruled lines.’
    • ‘The two head frames are not identically positioned; they had to be oriented in relation to moving the ore to the crusher.’
    • ‘Intensity around the circular membrane varies only if the probe is oriented relative to the membrane.’
    • ‘To counteract this, living reptiles bask in the sun and orient their bodies for maximum heat absorption.’
    • ‘They aligned the house along an east-west axis, orienting windows toward the south for solar gain.’
    • ‘For older children, show them how to orient the map and locate your position.’
    • ‘East and West, North and South, this relationship orients the building.’
    • ‘That is, he never orients his imagery to a horizon line.’
    • ‘A third infrared camera, also mounted on the headset, spatially orients the video in relation to a set of optical tracking markers placed around the patient's body.’
    • ‘Lubetkin orients the entrance on an oblique axis in order to bypass the first stair tower and arrive opposite the center of the building.’
    • ‘The system detects a source of free energy, the vane on the back of the windmill orients the windmill because of the transient wind, and then work is extracted.’
    • ‘She taught us how to use a compass to find true north and to orient a map accordingly.’
    • ‘Then orient your waterfall so you can see it from a patio or a favorite room.’
    • ‘One aspect of its cultural depth is that the four-square base of the pyramid orients it to the four compass points and thus represents physical space as humans experience and conceive of it.’
    • ‘It is the primary instrument used to orient the howitzers onto the azimuth of fire.’
    align, place, position, put, dispose, situate, set
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    1. 1.1Find one's position in relation to unfamiliar surroundings.
      ‘there were no street names to enable her to orient herself’
      • ‘But the sun was shining and all felt well with the world, so I tucked in, whilst orienting myself with the city in my guide.’
      • ‘Scientists surmise this allows the bacteria to orient themselves relative to Earth's magnetic field to guide their movement to desirable locations.’
      • ‘It will introduce the sections of the exhibition, including a color-coded map to help visitors orient themselves in the visually crowded environment.’
      • ‘It's disconcerting, coming from a city where you orient yourself by the river.’
      • ‘This boy, while capable of orienting himself intellectually, is quite incapable of endowing these surroundings with an adequate emotion.’
      • ‘That is to say, the difference between Greenwich time and local time is a way of orienting oneself in space, of knowing where one is, and how one is heading.’
      • ‘She is your eyes as you operate the game's ‘look around’ function to orient yourself in a landscape or position yourself to jump off a cliff.’
      • ‘He suggested that the pineal organ might have been phototropic, helping the animal to orient itself relative to the surface of the water.’
      • ‘The population still able to walk around wandered about the smoking ruins in a bewildered daze, unable to find their loved ones, incapable of orienting themselves, as all landmarks had vanished.’
      • ‘It just felt nice to be a part (however fresh-faced and transitory) of a different city, orienting myself slowly, getting a feel for the grid system.’
      • ‘It is very difficult for him to orient himself in these new surroundings; he often needs help locating the kitchen or bathroom.’
      • ‘Your guidepost will work best if it's lined up directly with your destination, but it can be off to the side as long as you orient yourself accordingly.’
      • ‘Perhaps that acute awareness of their natural surroundings explains why they are able to orient themselves with such great facility on modern graphic maps introduced by the researcher, the government agent, or the community mapper.’
      • ‘The justification of such a setting rests exclusively on the fact that, by means of such concepts and mental relations between them, we are able to orient ourselves in the labyrinth of sense impressions.’
      • ‘Through the metallic coldness of a long distance phone connection, Mariza's voice crackles with warmth as we do Time Zone Math to orient ourselves in relation to each other on the planet.’
      • ‘These days, most cognitive and visual scientists agree that men and women have slightly different ways of orienting themselves spatially.’
      • ‘He groaned, and felt the bulkhead, slowly coming to his knees, and standing, trying to orient himself to his position on ‘B’ deck.’
      • ‘Hoa Hao followers say that like Muslims but unlike other Buddhists, they orient themselves in prayer in relation to a fixed point.’
      • ‘I stepped out of the tube, oriented myself and walked towards the place past Harrods.’
      • ‘You can orient yourself by facing the mountains, your back to Kingston Harbour.’
      find one's bearings, get one's bearings, get the lie of the land, establish one's location, feel one's way
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    2. 1.2Guide (someone) in a specified direction.
      ‘we were oriented towards the building’
      • ‘The Bible gives us guides whose stories orient us to a path they traveled long ago.’
      • ‘She leads me through areas piled high with furniture, guides me past coolers where meat, milk, and juice are on offer, then orients me past candy-bar stands.’
      • ‘When we arrived in Baton Rouge, I thought they'd have someone welcoming us or orienting us.’
      • ‘It empirically orients the reader by including brief references throughout to some of history's highest profile episodes of mania and panic.’
      • ‘In the early part of his career he was firmly oriented towards biomedical science.’
      • ‘In these matters Brown's economic training and instincts will orient him toward the United States even while he tries to build British influence in the European Union.’
      • ‘Eventually, in the typical modern situation, each individual comes to belong to many changing and intersecting groups each of which shapes and orients him/her in a certain way.’
      • ‘‘We want to orient them at a young age to the fun relationship to fitness as well as assist parents to interact with their kids,’ Barr says.’
      • ‘Humans are terrestrial born and bred, and the systems that orient us to up and down are designed to work when we are attached firmly to the ground, or return us to the ground in an upright position.’
      • ‘Teachers also help orient children to the future by asking them to consider the questions of what will be, or what they could become (future self).’
      • ‘The content orients patients and their families to the unit and provides a source for education individualized to each patient.’
      • ‘Accenting or highlighting serves to orient people and direct their vision so they look at the important things they need to spend time on, and less time on things that are not quite so critical.’
      • ‘The portholes bubble up elsewhere: In the stair tower, one frames the patio's water sculpture; another one on the landing orients visitors to the street.’
      • ‘A perioperative nurse orients the patient to the unit.’
      • ‘As temps, we know you'll find the building a little confusing, but we're hoping that your tour today will orient you completely.’
      • ‘A patient care technician and RN greeted her and oriented her to the unit.’
      • ‘The library's use of crayon-colored highlights adds drama and helps orient visitors by making essential features such as escalators and stairs easy to spot.’
      • ‘The wording of this statement is critical, because it orients the reader of 1 John to the way in which its author thinks, here and throughout.’
      • ‘Foster often thought of you and your colleagues as a compass for journalists, pointing us in the right directions, orienting us and reminding us of how to get home.’
      • ‘He also orients new employees on company values over pizza lunches and flew to Iraq to spend Christmas with his in-country expatriates.’
  • 2Tailor or adapt (something) to specified circumstances.

    ‘magazines oriented to the business community’
    [as adjective, in combination] ‘market-oriented economic reforms’
    • ‘To be fully marketing-oriented, a company would have to adapt its offering to meet the needs of each individual.’
    • ‘I was always very detail- and result-oriented in my food business.’
    • ‘The place was really trendy, yet the ambience was very family oriented.’
    • ‘It seems your magazine is no longer content-oriented, it is now stuff-oriented.’
    • ‘Or maybe too much of the futures field is oriented around business to the extent it's lost sight of things that are truly radical.’
    • ‘The first one is oriented to the business world, and the second one is for all of us who enjoy using the computer for more than work.’
    • ‘Perhaps it would have been a decision that was less business-oriented but a more popular decision.’
    • ‘Sixteen years ago there was very little choice of family oriented venues in Pattaya.’
    • ‘Business-oriented people constantly read about Apple's successes and products in their news sources.’
    • ‘For a business that claims to be so very customer-oriented, they really are not.’
    • ‘This is probably due once again to the service-oriented business models of the respondents to our survey.’
    • ‘Practices of devoted listening to the Word teach us to recognize God's voice, to stay within earshot and to let the living mercy that is Jesus Christ orient our lives more fully to God.’
    • ‘The company will set up a new export oriented formulations unit in Indore next year.’
    • ‘The company's philosophy, says director of business development Ron Schlenker, is to take the strategic sourcing mentality and orient it toward product development.’
    • ‘Chen opened a number of politically oriented enterprises, including highly profitable correspondence schools.’
    • ‘Because of the vast amounts of information, an object oriented approach may prove useful.’
    • ‘The largely business-oriented crowd at the Downtown Hotel was quite vocally in favour of such a development, by whatever means.’
    • ‘We had three girls and I learned a lot from Marc because he's very detail-oriented, a genius in business, international.’
    • ‘The guy who used to run my team and lost a bundle of money, has moved over (ie spun off) a more sales-oriented business unit.’
    • ‘For example, we are tailoring advanced individual training to make it assignment-oriented.’
    aim, direct, slant, angle, pitch, steer, design, intend
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Late Middle English: via Old French from Latin orient- rising or east, from oriri to rise.