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 scene then stops, presumably staying fixated on Peter for five hours. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Netflix Released an Extended Version of a "To All the Boys I've Loved Before" Scene Featuring Noah Centineo," 27 Dec. 2018 Adding insult to injury, both Musk and Bezos have an eye on human interplanetary exploration, with Blue Origin looking at the moon and SpaceX fixated on Mars. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "The Virgin Galactic Hype Totally Misses the Point," 13 Dec. 2018 Contemporary science fiction often feels fixated on a sort of pessimism that peers into the world of tomorrow and sees the apocalypse looming more often than not. The Verge, "Better Worlds," 5 Dec. 2018 Stephanie Borns-Weil, a veterinary behaviorist who runs the Tufts Animal Behavior Clinic, spends her days working with dogs who are overly aggressive, fixated on shadows, and snapping at nonexistent flies. David Scharfenberg,, "Are we making our pets crazy, too?," 13 July 2018 And on Friday, fixating on Twitter will play an outsize role in his morning routine. Sarah Ponczek,, "Trump Twitter risk adds a new wild card to Friday's jobs report," 5 July 2018 But even in the midst of its many boundless pleasures, Incredibles 2 charges us with a mission that’s not for the faint of heart: to choose to look at one another instead of being fixated on the screens all around us. Time, "How ‘Incredibles 2’ Shows What It Means to Be Human," 14 June 2018 Mental health experts say exposure to media coverage of a high-profile suicide, especially coverage which fixates on the gratuitous details of a person's death, can lead to more suicides. Alia E. Dastagir, USA TODAY, "The unintentional consequences of suicide coverage," 6 June 2018 The album finds the 28-year-old former country singer still fixated on her haters, who are represented in the tour’s dominant visual motif: snakes. Dan Deluca,, "Summer concerts: U2, Lauryn Hill, Taylor Swift and more come to Philly," 6 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

6 Jan 2019

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fixate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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