Definition of transfix in US English:



[with object]
  • 1usually be transfixedCause (someone) to become motionless with horror, wonder, or astonishment.

    ‘he was transfixed by the pain in her face’
    ‘she stared at him, transfixed’
    • ‘Will we ever know all the reasons why people are transfixed by these images?’
    • ‘I quickly asked her where the pain was, and while transfixing me with a hard look, she pointed to her chest.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I was transfixed by the jostling crowds, the blasting horns.’
    • ‘We were transfixed, and used to wonder whether all the women in England were like that.’
    • ‘I was too transfixed on his twitch to let that happen.’
    • ‘If a story transfixes Sydney tabloids, then it transfixes me.’
    • ‘And I was transfixed, almost hypnotised by the grotesque scene in front of me.’
    • ‘I was transfixed, wondering if the lead singer was male or female.’
    • ‘But we're simultaneously transfixed by the scale of the event, excited by its uncommon nature.’
    • ‘I was transfixed with fear and the sheer beauty of the scene.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She was transfixed by that veiled emerald gaze, frozen to the spot, unable to move.’
    • ‘No-one else seemed much moved by this, but I was transfixed.’
    • ‘If people were not transfixed on the band, they at least ceased to idly chatter.’
    • ‘At night I am transfixed by the gentle motion of the great hull accompanied by the hypnotic creaking of richly-grained wood.’
    • ‘By the time I got to the Mexican trip toward the end of the novel, I was transfixed.’
    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
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  • 2Pierce with a sharp implement or weapon.

    ‘a field mouse is transfixed by the curved talons of an owl’
    • ‘Plunging from his cheetah-drawn chariot, Bacchus looses arrows of longing from his eyes at Ariadne, and transfixes her in mid-flight.’
    • ‘Alas for poor Bill, more arrows would soon pierce him than transfixed Saint Sebastian.’
    impale, stab, spear, pierce, spike, skewer, stick, gore, pin, bayonet, harpoon, lance, run through, puncture, perforate
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Late 16th century (in transfix (sense 2)): from Latin transfix- ‘pierced through’, from the verb transfigere, from trans- ‘across’ + figere ‘fix, fasten’.