Definition of idée fixe in English:

idée fixe

nounPlural idées fixes

  • An idea or desire that dominates the mind; an obsession.

    • ‘It is no accident that the ‘sentry's solitude’ has become the idée fixe of Ajami's writing in recent years.’
    • ‘The point was to poke fun at such idées fixes (the blonde is gazing intelligently at a painting), but many women just felt patronized.’
    • ‘Or you can believe that the CEO was hit on the head by a squash-ball and developed an idée fixe about animal welfare.’
    • ‘History, too, has not been kind to Miller's idées fixes.’
    • ‘Gray's mega-success is testament, as much as anything, to the power of the idée fixe; in his case, the repeated revelation that men and women have such different emotional needs they could be from different planets.’
    • ‘Churchill was not a man who let contradictory information interfere with his idées fixes.’
    • ‘This is a time to park ideological shoes outside and be prepared to reassess all kinds of old idées fixes, of right and left.’
    • ‘They come from all parties, and none, but they have one common idée fixe: they hate the West.’
    • ‘In fact, Jong's mining of her life for material has been her literary idée fixe.’
    • ‘For whatever it's worth, they're doing the Coldplay thing better than Coldplay, sans the whole self-conscious, self-important idée fixe.’
    • ‘In any case, if an idée fixe takes hold in a society, it is unlikely to have appeared from nowhere.’
    • ‘We hear the idée fixe, the little snippet of melody that symbolized the Beloved, and then there's a wet brutal thud and two pizzicato beats to chart the head bouncing into the basket.’
    • ‘Every time her image appears in the artist's mind it is accompanied by a musical thought, the famous idée fixe of the symphony.’
    • ‘There is no doubt a ‘planning orthodoxy’ which creates idées fixes, which they simply cannot depart from.’
    • ‘Mr Dombey is a man with an idée fixe, a pride in himself and in the achievement of his inherited business.’
    • ‘Democracy is experimental for Dewey in that it allows, or should allow, a profound questioning of the idées fixes of the established order, even if, of course, much democratic politics will not take the form of such questioning.’
    • ‘And it was this solution, kept secret at first, that the merchant Boix-Vives worked on and perfected as he sat at the steering-wheel of his lorry, and which became ‘the Plan’, his idée fixe.’
    • ‘To call Thomas Jefferson a complex, paradoxical, and even contradictory figure is, by now, merely to repeat conventional wisdom that has become an idée fixe of Jefferson scholarship.’
    • ‘Over the subsequent weeks, the woman's idée fixe about the room's yellow wallpaper develops into full-blown dementia.’
    • ‘The lecturer propagates his idée fixe with numerous sideswipes at the theories of his arch-rival, Gartner, and with a conviction and intensity that has us doubting his sanity.’
    obsession, fixation, consuming passion, ruling passion, passion, mania, compulsion, preoccupation, enthusiasm, infatuation, addiction, fetish, craze, hobby horse
    View synonyms


French, literally ‘fixed idea’.


idée fixe

/ˌiːdeɪ ˈfiːks/