v. fix·at·ed, fix·at·ing, fix·ates
a. To cause (a person or the eyes) to look at or pay attention to something steadily: "My eyes were fixated on his playful, deep-set brown eyes" (Bernard Lown).
b. To focus one's eyes or attention on: "When you fixate the closer of the two fingers, the one further away is seen double" (Robert F. Schmidt and Gerhard Thews).
2. To command the attention of exclusively or repeatedly; preoccupy obsessively: "TV and newspapers were fixated on high-technology as the solution to almost everything" (Jay Walljasper).
a. To cause to become emotionally attached in an immature or pathological manner.
b. In classical psychoanalysis, to cause (the libido) to be arrested at an early stage of psychosexual development.
1. To focus the eyes or attention.
a. To become attached to a person or thing in an immature or pathological way; form a fixation.
b. To be arrested at an early stage of psychosexual development.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.