1. the Orient,
    1. the countries of Asia, especially East Asia.
    2. (formerly) the countries to the E of the Mediterranean.
  2. Jewelry.
    1. an orient pearl.
    2. the iridescence of a pearl.
  3. the east; the eastern region of the heavens or the world.

verb (used with object) Also especially British, orientate.

  1. to adjust with relation to, or bring into due relation to surroundings, circumstances, facts, etc.
  2. to familiarize (a person) with new surroundings or circumstances, or the like: lectures designed to orient the new students.
  3. to place in any definite position with reference to the points of the compass or other locations: to orient a building north and south.
  4. to direct or position toward a particular object: Orient it toward that house.
  5. to determine the position of in relation to the points of the compass; get the bearings of.
  6. to place so as to face the east, especially to build (a church) with the chief altar to the east and the chief entrance to the west.
  7. Surveying. to set (the horizontal circle of a surveying instrument) so that readings give correct azimuths.
  8. Mathematics. to assign to (a surface) a constant, outward direction at each point.

verb (used without object) Also especially British, orientate.

  1. to turn toward the east or in any specified direction.


  1. (of a gem or pearl) exceptionally fine and lustrous; oriental.
  2. Archaic. rising or appearing, especially as from below the horizon: the orient sun.

noun the Orient

  1. the countries east of the Mediterranean
  2. the eastern hemisphere

noun (ˈɔːrɪənt)

  1. poetic another word for east Compare occident
  2. archaic the eastern sky or the dawn
    1. the iridescent lustre of a pearl
    2. (as modifier)orient pearls
  3. a pearl of high quality

adjective (ˈɔːrɪənt)

  1. mainly poetic eastern
  2. archaic (of the sun, stars, etc) rising

verb (ˈɔːrɪˌɛnt)

  1. to adjust or align (oneself or something else) according to surroundings or circumstances
  2. (tr) to position, align, or set (a map, surveying instrument, etc) with reference to the points of the compass or other specific directions
  3. (tr) to set or build (a church) in an easterly direction

n.c.1300, “the East” (originally usually meaning what is now called the Middle East), from Old French orient “east” (11c.), from Latin orientem (nominative oriens) “the rising sun, the east, part of the sky where the sun rises,” originally “rising” (adj.), present participle of oriri “to rise” (see orchestra). The Orient Express was a train that ran from Paris to Istanbul via Vienna 1883-1961, from the start associated with espionage and intrigue. v.c.1727, originally “to arrange facing east,” from French s’orienter “to take one’s bearings,” literally “to face the east” (also the source of German orientierung), from Old French orient “east,” from Latin orientum (see Orient (n.)). Extended meaning “determine bearings” first attested 1842; figurative sense is from 1850. Related: Oriented; orienting. v.

  1. To locate or place in a particular relation to the points of the compass.
  2. To align or position with respect to a point or system of reference.
  3. To make familiar with or adjusted to facts, principles, or a situation.
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