Definition of disorient in US English:



[with object]often as adjective disoriented
  • 1Make (someone) lose their sense of direction.

    ‘she was so disoriented that Joe had to walk her to her room’
    • ‘On the ground, waterfowl and eagles may seem disoriented or lethargic, and may stumble and wobble as they move.’
    • ‘In my disoriented state, I barely could focus on one thing at a time.’
    • ‘Even her inertial guidance system was affected and she found herself becoming disoriented, unable to control her path with accustomed confidence.’
    • ‘Desiree woke with a start, looking about the room in a disoriented fashion before re-accustoming herself to the sharp light of the candle beside her bed.’
    • ‘Soon his legs grew tired of remaining stationary and so he began to pace about in a small, disoriented circle, leaving scattered and confused footprints in the sand.’
    • ‘It's a bit different outside and you might get momentarily disoriented, so we'll stand on the deck until you're steady enough to proceed.’
    • ‘On the other hand, Delhi, like any major metro area, is not the safest place for a disoriented woman to be by herself at night.’
    • ‘Merlin walked slowly through a maze of corridors, disoriented and unsure of the route to the long tunnel to the engine pods.’
    • ‘Returning from an internal page to the homepage is often a useful way for a disoriented user to start over again or retrace steps previously taken.’
    • ‘The most taxing duties for a policeman in Tokyo, where the crime rate is unusually low, include offering directions to disoriented tourists.’
    • ‘The system works cleanly, and Sokal even showed restraint with the camera angles, so they don't switch so often to make your disoriented or lost.’
    • ‘They landed hard on the pavement, disoriented and unable to discern the events that had just taken place.’
    • ‘Janette tried to pull Julian to safety but he seemed strangely disoriented.’
    • ‘Guiding the disoriented Mai towards the closest access door, he yelled for Amber to try and over-ride its security lock.’
    • ‘The lobsters, it seems, became a little, you know, disoriented and irritable.’
    • ‘The man reported a disoriented woman was still on the third floor.’
    • ‘I found him shaking my shoulder and my disoriented eyes raced to find Brickerd's automated clock to find I had been asleep for only 15 minutes.’
    • ‘I had flown parade to the start and made a disoriented scan transition without the benefit of my primary flight instrument, as I discovered on my third pass.’
    • ‘They tried to calm the frightened, tend the wounded, comfort the anxious, and guide the disoriented toward safety.’
    • ‘I stood up, and with a rush of anxiety loped in a disoriented path, that attempted to follow the footprints in the muddy dirt.’
    1. 1.1 Make (someone) feel confused.
      ‘jet lag leaves you irritable, disoriented, and tired’
      • ‘It is from our conversations - trying to narrate our own disoriented experiences - that many of my thoughts on these events have emerged.’
      • ‘Concentrating on the early work, he discovered a great 1955 shot from Las Vegas of a disoriented mother and daughter underneath a neon sign.’
      • ‘Arti was still confused and disoriented due to the recent happenings.’
      • ‘Brian noted the disoriented look on his friend and ruler's face, and followed Aaron, although he knew he was technically forbidden to disturb the king in his private rooms.’
      • ‘Worse, my sunglasses felt weird on my face, which made me disoriented and cranky.’
      • ‘But does a disoriented audience serve the story or the ego of the director?’
      • ‘They have risen so far, so fast in the dizzying culture of the West that they have become enraged, disoriented and vulnerable to manipulation.’
      • ‘She can taste the blood as it and the lack of oxygen tear away at her already disoriented mind as they suffocates her lungs.’
      • ‘The preschooler blinks, disoriented and afraid.’
      • ‘These qualities made a deep impression on me when, as a disoriented Brandeis undergraduate newly arrived from California, I came under his spell.’
      • ‘Flight attendants dropped the jetway and a party of heavily armed police officers stormed on board, taking the disoriented hijacker into custody.’
      • ‘As Sydney watched, he gave a disoriented groan before his eyes rolled back and slipped closed, his figure stilled aside from the tiniest movement from breathing.’
      • ‘The strange case of Colonel Tim Collins confirms that, victory in Iraq notwithstanding, our disoriented military no longer seems certain in which direction it should be marching.’
      • ‘Temporal shifts reflect Georgie's sane or disoriented thinking according to his drug intake.’
      • ‘And in many of those same articles, I've expressed confusion over how such an organization could act in such a confused and disoriented fashion.’
      • ‘After Columbine, America was in trauma and Elephant, with its dazed and disoriented feel, explores that clinical sense of shock.’
      • ‘Once that world is disrupted, he becomes disoriented and prone to bullying and wildly inappropriate behavior, like trying to bully senators.’
      • ‘His disoriented mind is a jumble of images and words.’
      • ‘In my disoriented state I could almost feel the warmth that radiated through my soul, lighting up the areas that seemed dark and unreachable before.’
      • ‘Before he even knew what he was doing, Dominick flew out of his chair and to the foot of the stairs, where he bellowed Loren's name until his disoriented, exhausted friend joined him.’


Mid 17th century: from French désorienter ‘turn from the east’.