• synonyms


See more synonyms for fixate on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), fix·at·ed, fix·at·ing.
  1. to fix; make stable or stationary.
Show More
verb (used without object), fix·at·ed, fix·at·ing.
  1. to become fixed.
  2. Psychoanalysis. to develop a fixation; suffer an arrest in one's emotional or sexual development.
Show More

Origin of fixate

1880–85; < Latin fix(us) fixed, firm (see fix) + -ate1
Related formsun·fix·at·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

haunt, obsess, infatuate, direct

Examples from the Web for fixate

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The more we fixate it, the more its clearness and distinctness increase.

    The Photoplay

    Hugo Mnsterberg

  • From here we see the perspective to the fantastic dreams which the camera can fixate.

    The Photoplay

    Hugo Mnsterberg

  • Existences that are especially set aside to fixate and convey meanings are signs or symbols.

    How We Think

    John Dewey

  • These apparently are accounted for by involuntary eye-movements which take place regardless of the effort made to fixate vision.

    Visual Illusions

    Matthew Luckiesh

British Dictionary definitions for fixate


  1. to become or cause to become fixed
  2. to direct the eye or eyes at a point in space so that the image of the point falls on the centre (fovea) of the eye or eyes
  3. psychol to engage in fixation
  4. (tr; usually passive) informal to obsess or preoccupy
Show More

Word Origin

C19: from Latin fixus fixed + -ate 1
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 fixate


1885, "to fix, make stable," from fix (v.) + -ate. Meaning "to gaze upon" is from 1889. Psychological sense is from 1926, originally in Freudian theory, in this case perhaps a back-formation from fixation. Related: Fixated; fixating.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

fixate in Medicine


  1. To make fixed, stable, or stationary.
  2. To focus one's eyes or attention on something.
  3. To develop a fixation; become excessively attached to a person or thing.
Show More
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.