Should You Say “Oriented” Or “Orientated?”

Is one “oriented” or “orientated?” It is common in English to hear people say both “orient” and “orientate” in everyday speech. Both verbs mean “to align or position yourself in a literal or theoretical environment.” Additionally, both words originated from the Latin root “oriens,” which means “rising/east.” 

Additionally, when used as a noun, “orient” can refer to countries located in the East. Technically, due to its specific origin, “orient/orientate” should only mean to align yourself to the East. However, it now just means to align yourself generally. 

Is “Orient” Or “Orientate” Correct? 

Both “orient” and “orientate” are correct words. However, their usage depends on where you are located and what English dialect you use. 

It is more common in the United Kingdoms to write “orientate,” whereas in America, it is more common to write “orient.” Even though these words have a distinction in these dialects, it is not uncommon to see both forms used. 

According to most reputable dictionaries, “orientate” and “orient” both mean the same thing. In other words, their usage depends on your personal preference and/or the style and dialect of writing you use. 

Examples From Reputable Sources

The country’s first post-Soviet president, Askar Akayev, a physicist by training, initially pursued liberal policies and earned it a reputation as the most democratically oriented state in central Asia. – The Guardian

There has been much less reform among Japan’s huge swathe of inefficient, domestically oriented companies.Moreover, even those firms that are trying to cut costs have tried to spread the pain among their suppliers, which may actually make things worse in the long run. – The Economist

As the Reformation tended to favour congregation-orientated services, the lectern was moved into the body of the church. – Encyclopedia Britannica 

What Does “Occident” Mean? 

You may have also seen people use the word “occident” along with “orient.” When used as a noun, “occident” refers to countries of the west. There is no verb for “occident,” so you shouldn’t have trouble mixing it up with “orient.” 

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By Ryan Fisher

Ryan holds degrees from Pacific Lutheran University and specializes in proofreading, editing, and content writing with an emphasis on business communication.

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