- a fixative substance, as a gummy liquid sprayed on a drawing to prevent blurring, or a solution for killing, hardening, and preserving material for microscopic study.
- Also called fixer. Photography. a chemical substance, as sodium thiosulfate, used to promote fixation.
- a substance that retards evaporation, as in the manufacture of perfume.
Origin of fixative
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for fixative
I sent a shower of spray from the fixative over the canvas, and said: “Well, go on.”Read ‘The King in Yellow,’ the ‘True Detective’ Reference That’s the Key to the Show
Robert W. Chambers
February 20, 2014
Scotty wiped both with fixative and put them on the floor to dry.The Flying Stingaree
Harold Leland Goodwin
I sent a shower of spray from the fixative over the canvas, and said: "Well, go on."The King in Yellow
Robert W. Chambers
Baldwin brought a bottle of fixative and sprayed the drawing through a blowpipe.Ewing\'s Lady
Harry Leon Wilson
Of these, Lang's corrosive sublimate solution is decidedly the best all-round "fixative."The Elements of Bacteriological Technique
John William Henry Eyre
Bandoline, a fixative for keeping hair in curl is commonly prepared from carrageen.
- serving or tending to fix
- a fluid usually consisting of a transparent resin, such as shellac, dissolved in alcohol and sprayed over drawings to prevent smudging
- cytology a fluid, such as formaldehyde or ethanol, that fixes tissues and cells for microscopic study
- a substance added to a liquid, such as a perfume, to make it less volatile
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
Word Origin and History for fixative
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- Serving to fix, bind, or make firm or stable.
- A substance used for the preservation of tissue or cell specimens.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.