Definition of idée fixe in US English:

idée fixe

noun

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

    • ‘History, too, has not been kind to Miller's idées fixes.’
    • ‘They come from all parties, and none, but they have one common idée fixe: they hate the West.’
    • ‘It is no accident that the ‘sentry's solitude’ has become the idée fixe of Ajami's writing in recent years.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Mr Dombey is a man with an idée fixe, a pride in himself and in the achievement of his inherited business.’
    • ‘Or you can believe that the CEO was hit on the head by a squash-ball and developed an idée fixe about animal welfare.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This is a time to park ideological shoes outside and be prepared to reassess all kinds of old idées fixes, of right and left.’
    • ‘Churchill was not a man who let contradictory information interfere with his idées fixes.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There is no doubt a ‘planning orthodoxy’ which creates idées fixes, which they simply cannot depart from.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Every time her image appears in the artist's mind it is accompanied by a musical thought, the famous idée fixe of the symphony.’
    • ‘The point was to poke fun at such idées fixes (the blonde is gazing intelligently at a painting), but many women just felt patronized.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In any case, if an idée fixe takes hold in a society, it is unlikely to have appeared from nowhere.’
    • ‘Over the subsequent weeks, the woman's idée fixe about the room's yellow wallpaper develops into full-blown dementia.’
    obsession, fixation, consuming passion, ruling passion, passion, mania, compulsion, preoccupation, enthusiasm, infatuation, addiction, fetish, craze, hobby horse
    View synonyms

Origin

French, literally ‘fixed idea’.

Pronunciation

idée fixe

/ēˌdā ˈfēks//iˌdeɪ ˈfiks/