verb (used with object), fix·at·ed, fix·at·ing.

to fix; make stable or stationary.

verb (used without object), fix·at·ed, fix·at·ing.

to become fixed.
Psychoanalysis. to develop a fixation; suffer an arrest in one's emotional or sexual development.

Origin of fixate

1880–85; < Latin fix(us) fixed, firm (see fix) + -ate1
Related formsun·fix·at·ed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for fixate

haunt, obsess, infatuate, direct

Examples from the Web for fixate

Contemporary Examples of fixate

Historical Examples of fixate

  • 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



to become or cause to become fixed
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
psychol to engage in fixation
(tr; usually passive) informal to obsess or preoccupy

Word Origin for fixate

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

fixate in Medicine




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