AskDefine | Define disorientation

Dictionary Definition



1 a wild delusion (especially one induced by a hallucinogenic drug) [syn: freak out]
2 confusion (usually transient) about where you are and how to proceed; uncertainty as to direction; "his disorientation was the result of inattention"

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /dɪs.ˌɔ.ɹi.ɪn.ˈtei.ʃn̩/
    Rhymes: -eɪʃǝn


  1. the loss of one's sense of direction, or of one's position in relationship with the surroundings.
  2. a state of confusion with regard to time, place or identity.
  3. a delusion.

Related terms


Extensive Definition

Orientation is a function of the mind involving awareness of three dimensions: time, place and person. Problems with orientation lead to disorientation, and can be due to various conditions, from delirium to intoxication. Typically, disorientation is first in time, then in place and finally in person.
The exact cerebral region involved in orientation is uncertain, but lesions of the brain stem and the cerebral hemispheres have been reported to cause disorientation, suggesting that they act together in maintaining awareness and its subfunction of orientation.
Disorientation, the opposite, is a cognitive disability in which the senses of time, direction, and recognition become difficult to distinguish.
disorientation in German: Orientierung (mental)
disorientation in Dutch: Oriëntatievermogen

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

aberration, abnormality, accommodation, adaptation, adjustment, agnosia, alienation, alignment, bearings, befuddlement, bewilderment, block, blocking, bother, botheration, brain damage, brainsickness, chaos, cloud, clouded mind, confusion, craziness, daftness, daze, delirium, delusion, delusion of persecution, dementedness, dementia, derangement, discombobulation, discomfiture, discomposure, disconcertion, disorder, disorganization, distraction, disturbance, embarrassment, flight of ideas, flummox, flurry, fluster, flutter, fog, folie, frenzy, fuddle, fuddlement, furor, hallucination, hallucinosis, haze, insaneness, insanity, irrationality, jumble, loss of mind, loss of reason, lunacy, madness, mania, maze, mental block, mental confusion, mental deficiency, mental derangement, mental disease, mental disorder, mental disturbance, mental illness, mental instability, mental sickness, mess, mind overthrown, mindsickness, mist, muddle, muddlement, nihilism, nihilistic delusion, oddness, orientation, paralogia, perplexity, perturbation, pixilation, possession, pother, psychological block, pucker, queerness, rabidness, reasonlessness, ruffle, senselessness, shattered mind, shuffle, sick mind, sickness, stew, strangeness, sweat, swivet, tizzy, unbalance, unbalanced mind, unsaneness, unsettlement, unsound mind, unsoundness, unsoundness of mind, upset, witlessness
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