- 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 C.L. Eastlake). The noun meaning "native or inhabitant of the east" is from 1701.
Etymology dictionary. 2014.