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transfix

[trans-fiks]
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verb (used with object), trans·fixed or trans·fixt, trans·fix·ing.
  1. to make or hold motionless with amazement, awe, terror, etc.
  2. to pierce through with or as if with a pointed weapon; impale.
  3. to hold or fasten with or on something that pierces.
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Origin of transfix

1580–90; < Latin trānsfīxus (past participle of trānsfīgere to pierce through), equivalent to trāns- trans- + fīg(ere) to pierce + -sus, variant of -tus past participle suffix
Related formstrans·fix·ion [trans-fik-shuh n] /trænsˈfɪk ʃən/, nounun·trans·fixed, adjective

Synonyms

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1. fascinate, spellbind, engross, captivate, enthrall.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for transfixed

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • When he put it to himself like that, the sweat started from his forehead and he was transfixed with fear.

    The Christian

    Hall Caine

  • The Baron, who had understood everything, was also transfixed.

  • Ralph stood where Sim had left him, transfixed by some horrible consciousness.

  • And when she woke in wild affright it met her transfixed and horrified gaze.

    Victor's Triumph

    Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth

  • Nettie looked up in a sudden blaze, and transfixed him with her eye.

    The Doctor's Family

    Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant


British Dictionary definitions for transfixed

transfix

verb -fixes, -fixing, -fixed or -fixt (tr)
  1. to render motionless, esp with horror or shock
  2. to impale or fix with a sharp weapon or other device
  3. med to cut through (a limb or other organ), as in amputation
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Derived Formstransfixion (trænsˈfɪkʃən), noun

Word Origin

C16: from Latin transfīgere to pierce through, from trans- + fīgere to thrust in
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 transfixed

transfix

v.

1580s, "pierce through, impale," from Middle French transfixer, from Latin transfixus "impaled," past participle of transfigere "to impale, pierce through," from trans- "through" (see trans-) + figere "to fix, fasten" (see fix (v.)). Figurative sense of "make motionless or helpless, as with amazement, terror, or grief" is first recorded 1640s. Related: Transfixed; transfixing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper