[ fik-suh-tiv ]
/ ˈfɪk sə tɪv /


serving to fix; making fixed or permanent.

noun Also fix·a·tif [fik-suh-tiv, -teef] /ˈfɪk sə tɪv, -ˌtif/.

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

First recorded in 1635–45; fix + -ative

Related forms

un·fix·a·tive, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fixative

British Dictionary definitions for fixative


/ (ˈfɪksətɪv) /


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

Medicine definitions for fixative


[ fĭksə-tĭv ]


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.