Oriented vs. Orientated

Which is correct?

By Deane Barker

The two words are basically the same thing. As for which is more correct, the shorter form of “oriented” seems to win out.

From Writing Explained:

Although there is no real difference in meaning or function between the two words, there is clearly a better choice, and that is oriented. Oriented is a more straightforward, clear word form, and Garner’s Modern American Usage calls orientated a needless variant.

That page provides some graphs showing that “orientated” is used much less than “oriented,” though the former is more common in British English.

Merriam-Webster is less strident, but basically agrees:

In the case of orient and orientate the shorter word came first; orient has been a verb since the early 18th century, while orientate dates from the middle of the 18th. […] Orientate began to attract criticism in the 1940s, and is still considered suspect by some usage guides (particularly in the U.S., as the word is far more common in British English).

Why I Looked It Up

I always wondered. The longer form grates on me every time I read it.

This is item #449 in a sequence of 696 items.

You can use your left/right arrow keys to navigate