Why was clemency trending last week?


[trans-fiks] /trænsˈfɪks/
verb (used with object), transfixed or transfixt, transfixing.
to make or hold motionless with amazement, awe, terror, etc.
to pierce through with or as if with a pointed weapon; impale.
to hold or fasten with or on something that pierces.
Origin of transfix
1580-90; < Latin trānsfīxus (past participle of trānsfīgere to pierce through), equivalent to trāns- trans- + fīg(ere) to pierce + -sus, variant of -tus past participle suffix
Related forms
[trans-fik-shuh n] /trænsˈfɪk ʃən/ (Show IPA),
untransfixed, adjective
1. fascinate, spellbind, engross, captivate, enthrall. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for transfixed
  • Apparently, they had merely to be in a room with her to be transfixed.
  • He gets transfixed by beeping, animated things but has almost no such toys.
  • If so, she is alone: the rest of the country is transfixed by the various scandals besetting her and her family.
  • We continue to be transfixed by the sight of our navel instead of looking around us at the wider world.
  • The rest of us watched him, more or less transfixed.
  • Students remained transfixed during the ceremony, which lasted several minutes.
  • Nonetheless, the media have been transfixed by what they see as a spectacle of presidential insouciance.
  • It feeds insatiably upon generous intentions, but in reality it seems transfixed by the pure grandiosity of being rich.
  • Politicians seem to be transfixed by the technology.
  • The world may be transfixed by the presidential campaign.
British Dictionary definitions for transfixed


verb (transitive) -fixes, -fixing, -fixed, -fixt
to render motionless, esp with horror or shock
to impale or fix with a sharp weapon or other device
(med) to cut through (a limb or other organ), as in amputation
Derived Forms
transfixion (trænsˈfɪkʃən) noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin transfīgere to pierce through, from trans- + fīgere to thrust in
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for transfixed



1580s, "pierce through, impale," from Middle French transfixer, from Latin transfixus "impaled," past participle of transfigere "to impale, pierce through," from trans- "through" (see trans-) + figere "to fix, fasten" (see fix (v.)). Figurative sense of "make motionless or helpless, as with amazement, terror, or grief" is first recorded 1640s. Related: Transfixed; transfixing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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