verb (used with object), trans·fixed or trans·fixt, trans·fix·ing.

to make or hold motionless with amazement, awe, terror, etc.
to pierce through with or as if with a pointed weapon; impale.
to hold or fasten with or on something that pierces.

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-shuhn] /trænsˈfɪk ʃən/, nounun·trans·fixed, adjective

Synonyms for transfix Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for transfixing

Contemporary Examples of transfixing

Historical Examples of transfixing

  • The eyes dominated the portrait, transfixing her with a blue stare.

  • She also pointed an extended finger at Mr. Aiken, as it were transfixing him.

    A Likely Story

    William De Morgan

  • Here was Junius turned gentleman and transfixing a State with satire.

    From the Easy Chair, vol. 1

    George William Curtis

  • A remark which Dr. Bennett had once let fall recurred to me, transfixing me to my bed.

    One of My Sons

    Anna Katharine Green

  • He hated me, this Englishman, because I had been before him in transfixing the animal.

    The Adventures of Gerard

    Arthur Conan Doyle

British Dictionary definitions for transfixing


verb -fixes, -fixing, -fixed or -fixt (tr)

to render motionless, esp with horror or shock
to impale or fix with a sharp weapon or other device
med to cut through (a limb or other organ), as in amputation
Derived Formstransfixion (trænsˈfɪkʃən), noun

Word Origin for transfix

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 transfixing



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper