fix·​ate | \ˈfik-ˌsāt \
fixated; fixating

Definition of fixate 

transitive verb

1 : to make fixed, stationary, or unchanging

2 : to focus one's gaze on

3 : to direct (the libido) toward an infantile form of gratification

intransitive verb

1 : to focus or concentrate one's gaze or attention intently or obsessively

2 : to undergo arrestment at a stage of development

Examples of fixate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The answer is that Trump is reportedly fixated on appointing a justice from an Ivy League institution, ideally Harvard or Yale. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "‘Populist’ Trump Turns Up Nose at Public University Graduates," 9 July 2018 So having nothing to say, they are now fixated on Trump. Fox News, "Democrats call out Maxine Waters for encouraging incivility," 26 June 2018 But there’s an argument that Hollywood is already too fixated on nostalgia, with endless remakes and reboots, and that constantly mining the past can be a creative dead-end. Josh Rottenberg,, "‘Ready Player One’s’ Steven Spielberg and Ernest Cline on pooling their nostalgia to tell a new story," 23 Mar. 2018 The conversation that followed — among many fans and media — fixated on the final word in that sentence. Shannon Ryan,, "Former Duke star Wendell Carter Jr.'s right to point out pay hypocrisy of NCAA," 18 May 2018 Bamberg told Crimesider that officials began fixating on cellphone jamming after solitary confinement became politically unfeasible as a deterrent to using them. Victoria Mckenzie, CBS News, "Are cellphones really to blame for spike in S.C. prison violence?," 19 Apr. 2018 In an era in which every world-class athlete seems fixated on personal brand-building and competing for the most Facebook likes and Twitter followers, the Norwegians embrace an altogether different approach to success. Bill Pennington, New York Times, "The Ski Team That Sleeps Together Wins a Lot of Gold Medals Together," 15 Feb. 2018 Instead of posing for photo ops with mom and dad, Ben (Roe) is a dedicated marine biologist who fixates on the strange young woman. David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle, "What’s on TV, April 12-15: ‘Siren’ sings, as does ‘Elvis Presley: The Searcher’," 12 Apr. 2018 From an early age, I’ve always been fixated on saving money as a point of pride. Charlotte Cowles, The Cut, "I’m 34 and My Parents Still Give Me a Clothing Allowance," 15 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fixate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of fixate

1885, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for fixate

probably back-formation from fixation, in part as translation of German fixieren

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Dictionary Entries near fixate

five-year plan







Statistics for fixate

Last Updated

10 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fixate

The first known use of fixate was in 1885

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More Definitions for fixate



English Language Learners Definition of fixate

: to look at or think about something constantly : to give all of your attention to something


fix·​ate | \ˈfik-ˌsāt \
fixated; fixating

Medical Definition of fixate 

transitive verb

1 : to focus one's gaze on

2 : to direct (the libido) toward an infantile form of gratification

intransitive verb

1 : to focus or concentrate one's gaze or attention an infant with normal vision…will fixate on a light held before himJournal of the American Medical Association

2 : to undergo arrestment at a stage of development

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More from Merriam-Webster on fixate

See words that rhyme with fixate

Spanish Central: Translation of fixate

Nglish: Translation of fixate for Spanish Speakers

Comments on fixate

What made you want to look up fixate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


noxious or harmful

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