Use the verb transfix when something makes you freeze in fascination or fear. Your belly dancing moves might transfix your dance recital audience.

You might describe the way the last minutes of a scary movie transfix your whole family, leaving them on the edge of their seats, or how the photographs in a gallery transfix you with their beauty. The word comes from transfixus, "impaled" in Latin, which in turn is rooted in trans, "through or across," and figere, "to fasten."

Definitions of transfix

v to render motionless, as with a fixed stare or by arousing terror or awe

fascinate, grip, spellbind
Type of:
excite the curiosity of; engage the interest of

v pierce with a sharp stake or point

empale, impale, spike
pierce with a pin
pierce with a spear
skewer, spit
drive a skewer through
Type of:
pierce, thrust
penetrate or cut through with a sharp instrument

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.