Latin Roots: Figere, Fixus

by Bella
(Carlsbad, CA)

Dear Latin Teacher,

What are some English words that have the Latin root figo or fixum in them?

Thanks, Bella

Dear Bella,

The Latin Root word figo, figere, fixi, fixus means to pierce, to transfix, to fasten, or to establish.

The full range of meanings comes through in our English derivatives:

transfix: to hold motionless with amazement; to pierce through, impale. This one comes from figere meaning to pierce.

fixture: something fastened securely, something permanent or long-standing. This one comes from figere meaning to fasten or establish.

fixity: stability, permanence.

affix: to attach to (ad, meaning "to", + figere, meaning "to fasten").

prefix: a verb meaning to fix or place in front; noun meaning that part of a word attached in front of another root word. See our page on Latin prefixes.

suffix: to fix or place under or at the end; that part of a word affixed to the end of another root word. See our page on Latin suffixes.

fixation: complete and utter focus on one subject; preoccupation; obsession.

infix: to implant, to instill in the memory, to impress.

Notice all of these English derivatives come from the Latin root fixus, the fourth principle part of the verb. Usually English will also derive words from the Latin infinitive, or second principle part, figere. But in this case, I can't think of any English words using the Latin root fig-.

Can anyone else find one?

Hope this short list helps you see how Latin roots help build English vocabulary. And thanks for asking a Latin teacher.



See more Latin roots

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