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[fik-sey-shuh n] /fɪkˈseɪ ʃən/
the act of fixing or the state of being fixed.
  1. reduction from a volatile or fluid to a stable or solid form.
  2. the process of converting atmospheric nitrogen into a useful compound, as a nitrate fertilizer.
Photography. the process of rendering an image permanent by removal of light-sensitive silver halides.
Psychoanalysis. a partial arrest of emotional and instinctual development at an early point in life, due to a severe traumatic experience or an overwhelming gratification.
a preoccupation with one subject, issue, etc.; obsession:
All her life she had a fixation on stories of violent death.
Origin of fixation
1350-1400; Middle English fixacion < Medieval Latin fixātiōn- (stem of fixātiō) a reduction to a fixed state. See fix, -ation
Related forms
nonfixation, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for fixation


the act of fixing or the state of being fixed
a preoccupation or obsession
  1. the act of fixating
  2. (in psychoanalytical schools) a strong attachment of a person to another person or an object in early life
  1. the conversion of nitrogen in the air into a compound, esp a fertilizer
  2. the conversion of a free element into one of its compounds
the reduction of a substance from a volatile or fluid form to a nonvolatile or solid form
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for fixation

late 14c., fixacion, an alchemical word, from Medieval Latin fixationem (nominative fixatio), noun of action from past participle stem of Latin fixare, frequentative of figere "to fix" (see fix (v.)). Used in the Freudian sense since 1910.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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fixation in Medicine

fixation fix·a·tion (fĭk-sā'shən)

  1. The condition of being stabilized, firmly attached, or set.

  2. The act or process of stabilizing or attaching something, especially a body part by surgery.

  3. The rapid killing and preservation of tissue elements to retain as nearly as possible the same characteristics they had in the living body.

  4. The conversion of a gas into solid or liquid form by chemical reactions.

  5. In psychoanalytic theory, a strong attachment to a person or thing, especially such an attachment formed in childhood or infancy and manifested in immature or neurotic behavior that persists throughout life.

  6. The coordinated positioning and focusing of both eyes on an object.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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