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


  • IPA(key): /əˈtætʃ/
  • 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.
    You need to attach the carabiner to your harness.
  2. (intransitive) To adhere; to be attached.
    Synonyms: cling, stick; see also Thesaurus:adhere
    • Brougham
      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
    • Jane Austen
      incapable of attaching a sensible man
    • Cowper
      God [] by various ties attaches man to man.
  5. To connect, in a figurative sense; to ascribe or attribute; to affix; with to.
    to attach great importance to a particular circumstance
    • Bayard Taylor
      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.
    • Miss Yonge
      The earl marshal attached Gloucester for high treason.

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