Definition of transfix in English:



  • 1Cause (someone) to become motionless with horror, wonder, or astonishment.

    ‘he was transfixed by the pain in her face’
    ‘she stared at him, transfixed’
    • ‘If a story transfixes Sydney tabloids, then it transfixes me.’
    • ‘But we're simultaneously transfixed by the scale of the event, excited by its uncommon nature.’
    • ‘At night I am transfixed by the gentle motion of the great hull accompanied by the hypnotic creaking of richly-grained wood.’
    • ‘Shoppers in the High Street were confused by the police presence and scores of people were transfixed on the sky as the helicopter hovered above.’
    • ‘Kiko looks up almost painfully and I'm transfixed at the depth of horror I see in his blue eyes.’
    • ‘As those of you who have seen gamelan dance can imagine, I was totally transfixed.’
    • ‘I was transfixed, wondering if the lead singer was male or female.’
    • ‘Will we ever know all the reasons why people are transfixed by these images?’
    • ‘I was transfixed with fear and the sheer beauty of the scene.’
    • ‘No-one else seemed much moved by this, but I was transfixed.’
    • ‘Nobody else even batted an eyelid, but I was just transfixed, with chills literally running up my spine.’
    • ‘At one point I even forgot the band were there, I was so transfixed with the visuals, which included lots of period footage of railways.’
    • ‘And I was transfixed, almost hypnotised by the grotesque scene in front of me.’
    • ‘If people were not transfixed on the band, they at least ceased to idly chatter.’
    • ‘I quickly asked her where the pain was, and while transfixing me with a hard look, she pointed to her chest.’
    • ‘I was too transfixed on his twitch to let that happen.’
    • ‘She was transfixed by that veiled emerald gaze, frozen to the spot, unable to move.’
    • ‘I was transfixed by the jostling crowds, the blasting horns.’
    • ‘By the time I got to the Mexican trip toward the end of the novel, I was transfixed.’
    • ‘We were transfixed, and used to wonder whether all the women in England were like that.’
    mesmerize, hypnotize, spellbind, bewitch, captivate, entrance, enthral, fascinate, engross, enrapture, stun, stupefy, astound, grip, root someone to the spot, stop someone dead, stop someone in their tracks
    View synonyms
  • 2Pierce with a sharp implement or weapon.

    ‘a field mouse is transfixed by the curved talons of an owl’
    • ‘Alas for poor Bill, more arrows would soon pierce him than transfixed Saint Sebastian.’
    • ‘Plunging from his cheetah-drawn chariot, Bacchus looses arrows of longing from his eyes at Ariadne, and transfixes her in mid-flight.’
    impale, stab, spear, pierce, spike, skewer, stick, gore, pin, bayonet, harpoon, lance, run through, puncture, perforate
    View synonyms


Late 16th century (in transfix): from Latin transfix- pierced through, from the verb transfigere, from trans- across + figere fix, fasten.