orient, oriental
Both words now sound dated and have an exotic 18c or 19c aura more associated with the world of empire and romantic adventure than with factual description. In ordinary writing it is often better to use more neutral terms such as eastern or (East) Asian (or terms that specify particular countries). The noun orient is traditionally spelt Orient with a capital initial letter when referring geographically or politically to countries, whereas practice varies between orient and Orient when it is used in general (often literary) reference to the east. That is the rule normally stated, but it is often difficult to be sure of the distinction:

• She was a blonde. They have a great time in the Orient, scarcity value —G. Black, 1972

• Flaubert left Europe a Romantic, and returned from the Orient a Realist —Julian Barnes, 1985

• The need to give punters the opportunity to additionally sample delights from the orient hardly seems necessary —Guardian, 1989

• The orient has three species of tarsiers —C. Willock, 1991.

The adjective oriental, meaning ‘eastern’ with reference to a part of the world, is normally spelt with a small o.

Modern English usage. 2014.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • oriental — oriental, ale, aux [ ɔrjɑ̃tal, o ] adj. et n. • 1160; lat. orientalis 1 ♦ Qui est situé à l est d un lieu. La rive orientale du Rhin. Pyrénées orientales. L Afrique orientale, de l Est. 2 ♦ Originaire de l Orient. Peuples orientaux. Langues… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • oriental — (Del lat. orientālis). 1. adj. Perteneciente o relativo al oriente. 2. Natural de oriente. U. t. c. s.) 3. Perteneciente o relativo a las regiones de Oriente. 4. Natural de la provincia de Oriente. U. t. c. s.) 5. Perteneciente o relativo a esta… …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • Oriental — puede referirse a: Oriental: Relativo al Oriente, uno de los puntos cardinales. Lo relacionado con Asia Oriental o Asia del Este. De forma más general, el Lejano Oriente o Extremo Oriente. Relativo o perteneciente a Uruguay. Banda Oriental:… …   Wikipedia Español

  • oriental — ORIENTÁL, Ă, orientali, e, adj., s.m. şi f. 1. adj. Care aparţine Orientului sau părţii răsăritene a unei ţări, a unei regiuni, privitor la Orient, caracteristic Orientului; răsăritean; p. restr. turcesc. 2. s.m. şi f. Persoană care face parte… …   Dicționar Român

  • oriental — adjetivo 1. Área: geografía Del Este o del Oriente: costa oriental, región oriental. mundo oriental. 2. Origen: Uruguay. Uruguayo. adjetivo,sustantivo masculino y femenino …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

  • oriental — oriental, ale (o ri an tal, ta l ) adj. 1°   Terme d astronomie. Planète orientale, celle qui se lève avant le soleil. 2°   Qui est du côté de l orient, qui appartient à l orient. Région orientale. Les peuples orientaux. •   Dans les terres… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • Oriental — O ri*en tal ([=o] r[i^]*[e^]n tal), a. [L. orientalis: cf. F. oriental.] Of or pertaining to the orient or east; eastern; concerned with the East or Orientalism; opposed to {occidental}; as, Oriental countries. [1913 Webster] The sun s ascendant… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Oriental — Oriental, NC U.S. town in North Carolina Population (2000): 875 Housing Units (2000): 576 Land area (2000): 1.146828 sq. miles (2.970272 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.226096 sq. miles (0.585587 sq. km) Total area (2000): 1.372924 sq. miles… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Oriental, NC — U.S. town in North Carolina Population (2000): 875 Housing Units (2000): 576 Land area (2000): 1.146828 sq. miles (2.970272 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.226096 sq. miles (0.585587 sq. km) Total area (2000): 1.372924 sq. miles (3.555859 sq. km)… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • oriental — (adj.) late 14c., from O.Fr. oriental (12c.), from L. orientalis of the east, from orientem (see ORIENT (Cf. Orient) (n.)). Originally in reference to the sky, geographical sense is attested from late 15c.; oriental carpet first recorded 1868 (in …   Etymology dictionary

  • oriental — Oriental, [orient]ale. adj. Qui est du costé de l Orient. Pays oriental. regions orientales. Peuples Orientaux, On dit en Poësie, La Rive orientale. Oriental, signifie aussi, Qui croist en orient, qui vient d orient. Les plantes orientales. des… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

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