transitive verb-·tat·ed, -·tat·ing
Origin of orientateprobably back-formation from orientation
- to face east, or in any specified direction
- to adjust to a situation
verbo·ri·en·tat·ed, o·ri·en·tat·ing, o·ri·en·tates Usage Problem
Usage Note: The use of orientate rather than orient is not uncommon, especially in British English, but it is strongly stigmatized in American English. Those who object to orientate sometimes justify their position by arguing that the -ate is a needless syllable, though one rarely hears similar objections to the use of illuminate rather than illumine. Whatever the reason, disapproval of orientate is strong. In our 2014 survey, 80 percent of the Usage Panel found On emerging from the subway station, I had to take a moment to orientate myself unacceptable, with a similar percentage disapproving of The architect orientated the building on an east-west axis and The building is orientated on an east-west axis.
(third-person singular simple present orientates, present participle orientating, simple past and past participle orientated)
- (UK, intransitive) To face (a given direction).
- (UK, reflexive) To determine one's position relative to the surroundings; to orient (oneself).
- He came out of the station and took some time to orientate himself.
- To arrange in order; to dispose or place (a body) so as to show its relation to other bodies, or the relation of its parts among themselves.
- (UK) To position (something), to align relative to a given position.
- Try to orientate your students towards the science subjects.
- (archaic) To move or turn toward the east; to veer from the north or south toward the east.
- Generally considered an error in American English. Compare developmentation.