[awr-ee-uhn-tey-shuhn, -en-, ohr-]
the act or process of orienting.
the state of being oriented.
an introduction, as to guide one in adjusting to new surroundings, employment, activity, or the like: New employees receive two days of orientation.
Psychology, Psychiatry. the ability to locate oneself in one's environment with reference to time, place, and people.
one's position in relation to true north, to points on the compass, or to a specific place or object.
the ascertainment of one's true position, as in a novel situation, with respect to attitudes, judgments, etc.
the relative positions of certain atoms or groups, especially in aromatic compounds.
the determination of the position of substituted atoms or groups in a compound.

1830–40; orientate + -ion

orientative, adjective
nonorientation, noun
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
orientation (ˌɔːrɪɛnˈteɪʃən)
1.  the act or process of orienting or the state of being oriented
2.  position or positioning with relation to the points of the compass or other specific directions
3.  the adjustment or alignment of oneself or one's ideas to surroundings or circumstances
4.  chiefly (US), (Canadian) Also called: orientation course
 a.  a course, programme, lecture, etc, introducing a new situation or environment
 b.  (as modifier): an orientation talk
5.  psychol the knowledge of one's own temporal, social, and practical circumstances in life
6.  basic beliefs or preferences: sexual orientation
7.  biology the change in position of the whole or part of an organism in response to a stimulus, such as light
8.  chem the relative dispositions of atoms, ions, or groups in molecules or crystals
9.  the siting of a church on an east-west axis, usually with the altar at the E end

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1839, originally "arrangement of a building, etc., to face east or any other specified direction," from from orient (v.). Sense of "the action of determining one's bearings" is from 1868.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

orientation o·ri·en·ta·tion (ôr'ē-ěn-tā'shən, -ən-)

  1. The act of orienting or the state of being oriented.

  2. Location or position relative to the points of the compass.

  3. The relative position of one atom with respect to another to which it is connected.

  4. Sexual orientation.

  5. Introductory instruction concerning a new situation.

  6. Awareness of the objective world in relation to one's self.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
The programme starts with an orientation and a one-month introduction to basic
  business principles.
Listening to my peers and leaders speak at orientation was nothing short of
To belittle genocide so flippantly speaks a lot about your depth of character
  and possibly your political orientation.
Have pairs draw orientation lines on the drawing paper.
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