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

  1. to fix; make stable or stationary.

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.


  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

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.


  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.

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