I am looking for a word to describe a location (an x,y coordinate) and an orientation (north, south etc).

Is there such a word?

  • There might be, but the question is so vague that it’s basically impossible to tell what you’re looking for. Could you describe what context you need it in, preferably with some example phrases where it would be used? Jul 21 '13 at 9:58
  • In the Unity3D Programming Engine, we would use the Vector3 object to identify the position and orientation of an object in 3D space. I know this is fairly limited in scope, but it might lend some credence to the notion that "vector" is an appropriate term.
    – Lumberjack
    Oct 29 '13 at 13:46

For a similar question (Word to encompass object's location or size) I wrote:

Wiktionary's sense 3 of geometry is suitable:

the spatial attributes of an object

That is the sense used in X Window System geometry specifications, which may specify width, height, x-offset, and y-offset, or may specify width and height.

That answer didn't address orientation, but the word geometry is general enough to encompass it.

Also consider vector, in particular unit vector and normal vector, which is a standard method of specifying a location and orientation. (Unit vectors typically are used to define a basis, and in that use the base location doesn't matter. Normal vectors are oriented perpendicular to something, which in this case might be thought of as a wavefront propagating in the direction of travel of a point.)


I was just looking for the same thing, and came upon this Wikipedia article on orientation. It uses the term placement to describe a combination of position and orientation.


What about the word "pose"?. On wiki "The combination of position and orientation is referred to as the pose of an object", under "Pose (Computer Vision)"


I can't think offhand of a word that would encompass both, but it is common to speak of an orientation as an aspect, and coordinates as a position. Situation or setting comes close, albeit in a rather general way, since orientation is a more specific notion that tends to relate to part of something, whilst position or location governs the whole of a thing.


Generally, in physics engines or game engines, I have seen "position and orientation" referred to as a "transform". However, many game engines include scaling with a transform, whereas physics engines do not.

Bullet Physics


Unreal Engine



Capture position and orientation of an object in one word

pose posture attitude Vector Configuration Geometry stance Bearing

  • Please explain why a word would be a good choice. If you suggest several words provide an explanation each.
    – Helmar
    Oct 1 '17 at 9:42

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