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orientation Line breaks: orien|ta¦tion
Pronunciation: /ˌɔːrɪənˈteɪʃ(ə)n/

Definition of orientation in English:


[mass noun]
1The action of orienting someone or something relative to the points of a compass or other specified positions: studies of locational awareness and orientation in young children
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.
1.1 [count noun] The relative position or direction of something: using the orientation of a building to capture energy from the sun
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.
1.2 Zoology The faculty by which birds and other animals find their way back to a place after going or being taken to a place distant from it: recent research in animal orientation
More example sentences
  • When the migratory birds lose their orientation, they land in the gardens or on a road covered with tree canopy.
  • Although treatment with a magnetic pulse results in directional changes in orientation in adult birds, these changes do not appear to be associated with the magnetic compass.
  • Some researchers have suggested that after dark the invertebrates lose orientation and are inadvertently washed away.
2A person’s basic attitude, beliefs, or feelings in relation to a particular subject or issue: his book is well worth reading, regardless of your political 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, direction, aim, intention
3Familiarization with something: many judges give instructions to assist jury orientation
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.
3.1 (also orientation course) chiefly North American A course giving information to newcomers to a university or other institution.
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.


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.

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