Definition of orientation in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌôrēənˈtāSH(ə)n/


1The determination of the relative position of something or someone (especially oneself): the child’s surroundings provide clues to help in orientation
More example sentences
  • Actually, I think it's a matter of compass orientation.
  • The agreed reforms aim to ensure the Common Agricultural Policy is firmly based on the principles of market orientation, sustainability and environmental awareness.
  • These days have been incredibly traumatic and the only place I can receive some positive therapy and orientation is this great site.
1.1The relative physical position or direction of something: two complex shapes, presented in different orientations
More example sentences
  • First, a calibration process determines camera position and orientation with respect to the vehicle platform.
  • The specimens are flattened in a variety of orientations to the bedding planes.
  • There is no relationship between the lattice orientations of the two minerals.
positioning, location, position, situation, placement, alignment
1.2 Zoology An animal’s change of position in response to an external stimulus, especially with respect to compass directions.
Example sentences
  • The sign of the reflexes are such that they would act to counter any imposed perturbations, bringing the animal back to a stable orientation.
  • There appears to be some species-specific responses of migratory orientation by songbirds under narrowband illumination.
  • This work showed that Tritonia devotes a large part of its pedal ganglion neural circuitry to determining its orientation with respect to ambient water currents.
1.3Familiarization with something: their training and orientation comes out of magazine and newspaper distribution
More example sentences
  • Mike walked me to the counter, and my training and orientation was done.
  • In addition, each business must go through some training and orientation.
  • Foreign-educated nurses need extensive orientation and training in the US health care system.
adaptation, adjustment, acclimatization
1.4 (also orientation course) chiefly North American A program of introduction for newcomers to a college or other institution: she attended freshman orientation
More example sentences
  • I went to both faculty and residence orientation, which means I have a lot more white t-shirts than I'll ever wear, as one would be more than enough.
  • I remember how surprised I was to hear this at the new faculty orientation.
  • Still haven't actually ‘met’ anyone since orientation though.
induction, training, initiation, briefing
1.5The direction of someone’s interest or attitude, especially political or sexual: a common age of consent regardless of gender or sexual orientation
More example sentences
  • The idea that you can change sexual orientation is laughable.
  • They conclude that a person's sexual orientation is determined before birth.
  • In addition, several items assessed subjects' preferred theoretical orientation and anticipated area of primary professional involvement.
attitude, inclination



Example sentences
  • To demonstrate the effect of water ordering in the present simulations, the orientational profile of the water dipole along the bilayer normal (z-direction) was calculated.
  • Our purpose here has been to illustrate how three visible ‘bows’ depend for their system-specific meanings on several invisible spatial, orientational and deictic features of the whole systems to which they belong.
  • Obviously no orientational dependence is expected from spherical beads, which is confirmed by our experiments (the residual fluctuations are likely to be due to imperfections in the bead and/or the measurement system).


Mid 19th century: apparently from orient.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: o·ri·en·ta·tion

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