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[awr-ee-en-teer-ing, ohr-] /ˌɔr i ɛnˈtɪər ɪŋ, ˌoʊr-/
a competitive sport, originating in Sweden, that tests the skills of map reading and cross-country running, in which competitors race through an unknown area to find various checkpoints by using only a compass and topographical map, the winner being the finisher with the lowest elapsed time.
alteration of Swedish orientering (conformed to -eer), equivalent to orienter(a) orient (v.) + -ing -ing1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for orienteering
  • It is our goal to have these same students help us design an orienteering course on hatchery property for public use.
  • Scavenger-hunt lists and maps for our self-guided orienteering lawn course are available at the visitor center.
  • Teachers learn basic orienteering skills and experience numerous sensory awareness activities.
  • Mountaineering, orienteering or similar outdoor experience a plus.
British Dictionary definitions for orienteering


a sport in which contestants race on foot over a course consisting of checkpoints found with the aid of a map and a compass
Word Origin
C20: from Swedish orientering; compare orient
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for orienteering

in reference to a competitive sport, 1948, from orient (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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