fix·​ate | \ ˈfik-ˌsāt How to pronounce fixate (audio) \
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 Menendez brothers — in their day, nearly as fixated upon as Simpson has been — have receded into appropriate irrelevance in 2019, as have Scott Peterson, Robert Blake, and Casey Anthony. Graham Hillard, National Review, "O. J. Simpson Joins Twitter," 28 June 2019 But the Commodores have too much depth to get rattled this close to a goal they've been fixated on all season. Eric Single,, "Three Questions That Will Decide the College World Series Winner," 24 June 2019 Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has made confirming judges his top priority, and he has been fixated for months on filling retired Justice Anthony Kennedy’s seat. Dylan Scott, Vox, "Republicans don’t care what you think," 6 Oct. 2018 Having not eaten since the morning ride, the 6-foot-9, 225-pound center was fixated on his family's Saturday night crawfish boil. Scott Springer,, "Logan Duncomb following footsteps of past Moeller basketball big men with Division I offers," 17 June 2019 Seplak, 36, is accused of shooting to death a 30-year-old Libertyville man who had just seen a movie with the woman on whom authorities said Seplak was fixated. Jim Newton, Lake County News-Sun, "Prosecutor: Libertyville man shot after dating murder defendant's 'dream girl'," 11 June 2019 Television and camera technology allow viewers to fixate on images down to every last pore and wrinkle, while the framing on phones and social media apps encourages myopic frames of reference. Vanessa Lawrence, ELLE Decor, "Joan Mitchell's Landscape Paintings Are the Perfect Digital Antidote," 1 May 2019 Building community in an authentic way, which is something you’ve been fixated on lately, is supported by this new moon. Randon Rosenbohm, Allure, "What May’s Pisces Horoscope Predictions Mean for You," 30 Apr. 2019 That song circles back to the familiar themes about democratic ideals and the idea of the United States as a refuge that now seems severely under threat and that U2 has been fixated on at least since 1987’s Joshua Tree. Dan Deluca,, "U2 keeps the faith with spectacularly staged 'Experience + Innocence' show at the Wells Fargo Center," 14 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

7 Jul 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 How to pronounce fixate (audio) \
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

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characterized by aphorism

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