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(usually initial capital letter) of, relating to, or characteristic of the Orient, or East; Eastern.
of the orient or east; eastern.
(initial capital letter) Zoogeography. belonging to a geographical division comprising southern Asia and the Malay Archipelago as far as and including the Philippines, Borneo, and Java.

(usually initial capital letter) designating various gems that are varieties of corundum:
Oriental aquamarine; Oriental ruby.
fine or precious; :
oriental agate; oriental garnet.
designating certain natural saltwater pearls found especially in the Orient.

(usually initial capital letter) Older Use: Usually Disparaging and Offensive. a native or inhabitant of the Orient.
Contemporary Examples

Malcolm lives in New York, in an apartment of wood floors and oriental carpets, overlooking Gramercy Park.
Old Anxieties Get a New Life: Artist Janet Malcolm Digs Up Ancient Case Files From a Mystery Psychiatrist Casey Schwartz December 30, 2011

Fatima Bhutto is a graduate of Columbia University and the School of oriental and African Studies (SOAS).
My Charlie Wilson War Fatima Bhutto January 7, 2009

Fatima Bhutto is a graduate of Columbia University and the School of oriental and African Studies.
Does Pakistan Have No Shame? Fatima Bhutto February 10, 2009

Historical Examples

It was an outrage on oriental custom; and as such the narrative sets it before us.
Modern Skepticism C. J. Ellicott

Now, God and his father’s fate made him intellectually inferior to the oriental.
American Notes Rudyard Kipling

It was an oriental ballad all about poniards, flowers, and stars.
Sentimental Education Vol 1 Gustave Flaubert

There was in this man an oriental nobility choked by Western fashion and customs.
My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt

This clearly signifies that the Lizard is an oriental migrant.
The History of the European Fauna R. F. Scharff

You remember the oriental bloke that always asked, ‘Who is she?’
Henry Dunbar M. E. Braddon

Historical incidents occur which show that oriental porcelain was by slow degrees making its way Westwards.
Chats on Oriental China J. F. Blacker

another word for eastern Compare occidental
(sometimes not capital) of or relating to the Orient
of or denoting a zoogeographical region consisting of southeastern Asia from India to Borneo, Java, and the Philippines
a breed of slender muscular cat with large ears, long legs, and a long tail
(sometimes not capital) an inhabitant, esp a native, of the Orient

late 14c., from Old French oriental “eastern, from the east” (12c.) and directly from Latin orientalis “of the east,” from orientem (see Orient (n.)). Originally in reference to the sky, geographical sense is attested from late 15c.; oriental carpet first recorded 1868 (in C.Latin Eastlake).

“native or inhabitant of the east,” 1701, from oriental (adj.).


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