Borrowed from Old French atachier, variant of estachier (bind), derived from estache (stick), from Frankish *stakka (stick). Doublet of attack.


  • IPA(key): /əˈtætʃ/
    • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ætʃ
  • Hyphenation: at‧tach


attach (third-person singular simple present attaches, present participle attaching, simple past and past participle attached)

  1. (transitive) To fasten, to join to (literally and figuratively).
    Synonyms: connect, annex, affix, unite; see also Thesaurus:join
    Antonyms: detach, unfasten, disengage, separate; see also Thesaurus:disconnect
    An officer is attached to a certain regiment, company, or ship.
    • (Can we date this quote by Paley and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      The shoulder blade is [] attached only to the muscles.
    • 1856, page 60 of "The History of England: From the Accession of James the Second, Volumes 3-4" by Baron Thomas Babington Macaulay
      A huge stone, to which the cable on the left bank was attached, was removed years later
    • 2013 July-August, Lee S. Langston, “The Adaptable Gas Turbine”, in American Scientist:
      Turbines have been around for a long time—windmills and water wheels are early examples. The name comes from the Latin turbo, meaning vortex, and thus the defining property of a turbine is that a fluid or gas turns the blades of a rotor, which is attached to a shaft that can perform useful work.
    You need to attach the carabiner to your harness.
  2. (intransitive) To adhere; to be attached.
    Synonyms: cling, stick; see also Thesaurus:adhere
    • (Can we date this quote by Brougham and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      The great interest which attaches to the mere knowledge of these facts cannot be doubted.
  3. To come into legal operation in connection with anything; to vest.
    Dower will attach.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Cooley to this entry?)
  4. To win the heart of; to connect by ties of love or self-interest; to attract; to fasten or bind by moral influence; with to.
    attached to a friend; attaching others to us by wealth or flattery
  5. To connect, in a figurative sense; to ascribe or attribute; to affix; with to.
    to attach great importance to a particular circumstance
    • (Can we date this quote by Bayard Taylor and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      To this treasure a curse is attached.
  6. (obsolete) To take, seize, or lay hold of.
  7. (obsolete, law) To arrest, seize.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, I.xii:
      Eftsoones the Gard, which on his state did wait, / Attacht that faitor false, and bound him strait []
    • 1610, The Tempest, by William Shakespeare, act 3 scene 2
      Old lord, I cannot blame thee, / Who am myself attach'd with weariness / To th' dulling of my spirits: sit down, and rest.
    • (Can we date this quote by Miss Yonge and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      The earl marshal attached Gloucester for high treason.

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