Disoriented vs. Disorientated [duplicate]

In the U.S., we seemingly prefer the former to the latter. However, I was sitting with my friends when one of them stated that he was “disorientated” while we were playing a video game.

My theory, at the time, was that he made the language connection between a “youtube game commentator” and “disoriented”, resulting in a mash-up of the two words. Due to the rise of usage in the word “commentator”, at least in the U.S., it made plenty of sense.

However, I just did some look-up this morning, out of curiosity, and it seems that the British prefer the latter to the former. It seemed a bit odd to me, so I asked some acquaintances in an SO Chat Room, and an interesting proposal was made.

Perhaps “Disoriented” is more of an adjective, where “Disorientated” is more appropriately a verb.

An example would be:

  • Adjective: He became disoriented in the forest.
  • Verb: He disorientated himself in the forest.



It is British English.

If I’m disoriented them I’m unsure which way is up; I might feel sick and dizzy. Associations similar to vertigo. I could get disoriented flying an aircraft in thick fog or scuba diving in low visibility. Playing a computer game I could become disoriented, certainly, if the images are moving too fast for my brain to make sense of them properly.

If I’m disorientated then I’m simply lost. I’m feeling ok but I don’t know where I am in relation to my surroundings. If I’m metaphorically disorientated then I’m confused, e.g. I might be disorientated by a new job.

If I’m disoriented then I am spatially disorientated; I have lost spacial orientation.

Spatial disorientation, the inability of a person to determine his true body position, motion, and altitude relative to the earth or his surroundings. Both airplane pilots and underwater divers encounter the phenomenon.


So disorientated has more of a topographical implication whereas disoriented is more sensory.

Source : Link , Question Author : ndugger , Answer Author : A E

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