verb (used with object), fixed or fixt, fix·ing.
- to repair; mend.
- to put in order or in good condition; adjust or arrrange: She fixed her hair in a bun.
- to make fast, firm, or stable.
- to place definitely and more or less permanently: to fix a circus poster to a wall.
- to settle definitely; determine: to fix a price.
- to direct (the eyes, the attention, etc.) steadily: His eyes were fixed on the distant ship.
- to attract and hold (the eye, the attention, etc.).
- to make set or rigid.
- to put into permanent form.
- to put or place (responsibility, blame, etc.) on a person.
- to assign or refer to a definite place, time, etc.
- to provide or supply with (something needed or wanted): How are you fixed for money?
- Informal. to arrange or influence the outcome or action of, especially privately or dishonestly: to fix a jury; to fix a game.
- to get (a meal); prepare (food): What time shall I fix supper?
- Informal. to put in a condition or position to make no further trouble.
- Informal. to get even with; get revenge upon: I’ll fix him!
- Informal. to castrate or spay (an animal, especially a pet).
- to make stable in consistency or condition; reduce from fluidity or volatility to a more stable state.
- to convert atmospheric nitrogen into a useful compound, as a nitrate fertilizer.
- Photography. to render (an image) permanent by removing light-sensitive silver halides.
- Microscopy. to kill, make rigid, and preserve for microscopic study.
verb (used without object), fixed or fixt, fix·ing.
- to become fixed.
- to become set; assume a rigid or solid form.
- to become stable or permanent.
- to settle down.
- Slang. to inject oneself with a narcotic.
- Chiefly Southern U.S. to prepare; plan (usually followed by an infinitive): I was just fixing to call you. We’re fixing to go to Colorado this summer.
- Informal. a position from which it is difficult to escape; predicament.
- Informal. a repair, adjustment, or solution, usually of an immediate nature: Can you think of a fix for the problem?
- a charted position of a vessel or aircraft, determined by two or more bearings taken on landmarks, heavenly bod-ies, etc.
- the determining of the position of a ship, plane, etc., by mathematical, electronic, or other means: The navigator took a fix on the sun and steered the ship due north.
- a clear determination: Can you get a fix on what he really means?
- an injection of heroin or other narcotic.
- the narcotic or amount of narcotic injected.
- a compulsively sought dose or infusion of something: to need one’s daily fix of soap operas on TV.
- an underhand or illegal arrangement, especially one secured through bribery or influence.
- a contest, situation, etc., whose outcome is prearranged dishonestly.
- fix on/upon, to decide on; determine: We won’t be able to fix on a location for the banquet until we know the number of guests.
- fix up, Informal.
- to arrange for: to fix up a date.
- to provide with; furnish.
- to repair; renew.
- to smooth over; solve: They weren’t able to fix up their differences.
- fix one’s wagon, Informal. to exact retribution for an offense; treat someone vengefully: I’ll dock his pay and that will fix his wagon.
- in a fix, Older Slang. pregnant.
verb (mainly tr)
- (also intr) to make or become firm, stable, or secure
- to attach or place permanentlyfix the mirror to the wall
- (often foll by up) to settle definitely; decidelet us fix a date
- to hold or direct (eyes, attention, etc) steadilyhe fixed his gaze on the woman
- to call to attention or rivet
- to make rigidto fix one’s jaw
- to place or ascribeto fix the blame on someone
- to mend or repair
- informal to provide withhow are you fixed for supplies?
- informal to influence (a person, outcome of a contest, etc) unfairly, as by bribery
- slang to take revenge on; get even with, esp by killing
- informal to give (someone) his just desertsthat’ll fix him
- informal to arrange or put in orderto fix one’s hair
- informal to prepareto fix a meal
- dialect, or informal to spay or castrate (an animal)
- US dialect, or informal to prepare oneselfI’m fixing to go out
- photog to treat (a film, plate, or paper) with fixer to make permanent the image rendered visible by developer
- cytology to kill, preserve, and harden (tissue, cells, etc) for subsequent microscopic study
- to convert (atmospheric nitrogen) into nitrogen compounds, as in the manufacture of fertilizers or the action of bacteria in the soil
- to convert (carbon dioxide) into organic compounds, esp carbohydrates, as occurs in photosynthesis in plants and some microorganisms
- to reduce (a substance) to a solid or condensed state or a less volatile state
- (intr) slang to inject a drug
- informal a predicament; dilemma
- the ascertaining of the navigational position, as of a ship, by radar, observation, etc
- slang an intravenous injection of a drug, esp heroin
- informal an act or instance of bribery
“position from which it is difficult to move,” 1809, American English, from fix (v.). Meaning “dose of narcotic” is from 1934, shortened from fix-up (1867, originally in reference to liquor).
late 14c., “set (one’s eyes or mind) on something,” probably from Old French *fixer, from fixe “fixed,” from Latin fixus “fixed, fast, immovable, established, settled,” past participle of figere “to fix, fasten,” from PIE root *dhigw- “to stick, to fix.”
Sense of “fasten, attach” is c.1400; that of “settle, assign” is pre-1500 and evolved into “adjust, arrange” (1660s), then “repair” (1737). Sense of “tamper with” (a fight, a jury, etc.) is 1790. As euphemism for “castrate a pet” it dates from 1930. Related: Fixed; fixedly (1590s); fixing.
- To convert inorganic carbon or nitrogen into stable, organic compounds that can be assimilated into organisms. Photosynthetic organisms such as green plants fix carbon in carbohydrates as food; certain bacteria fix nitrogen as ammonia that can be absorbed directly or through nitrification by plant roots. See more at carbon fixation nitrogen fixation.
- To convert a substance, especially a gas, into solid or liquid form by chemical reactions.
- To kill and preserve a tissue specimen rapidly to retain as nearly as possible the characteristics it had in the living body.
Also, in a pickle or spot. In a difficult or embarrassing situation, in a dilemma. For example, I was really in a fix when I missed the plane, or Lost and out of gas—how did we get in such a pickle? or John had lost all his money in the crap game—now he was in a spot. The first of these colloquial usages dates from the early 1800s; pickle in the sense of a mess or quandary, sometimes put as in a pretty pickle, dates from the 1500s; spot, also put as in a bad spot or tough spot, dates from the early 1900s. Also see in a bind; in deep, def. 2; in the soup; in trouble; on the spot.
In addition to the idioms beginning with fix
- fix someone’s wagon
- fix up
- get a fix
- get a fix on
- if it ain’t broke don’t fix it
- in a fix