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2017 Word of the Year

attaché

[a-ta-shey, at-uh- or, esp. British, uh-tash-ey] /æ tæˈʃeɪ, ˌæt ə- or, esp. British, əˈtæʃ eɪ/
noun
1.
a diplomatic official attached to an embassy or legation, especially in a technical capacity:
a commercial attaché; a cultural attaché.
2.
a military officer who is assigned to a diplomatic post in a foreign country in order to gather military information:
an air attaché; an army attaché; a naval attaché.
3.
Also, attache. attaché case.
Origin of attaché
1825-1835
1825-35; < French: literally, attached, past participle of attacher to attach
Can be confused
attach, attaché.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for attache
Historical Examples
  • attache to the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs does not seem so good.

    Jacqueline, Complete (Mme. Blanc) Th. Bentzon
  • I kinder think that it will be respectable to be attache to such a man as that.

    The Attache Thomas Chandler Haliburton
  • The last personage is Jube Japan, a black servant of the attache.

    The Attache Thomas Chandler Haliburton
  • He took the attache's arm, and left the small sacristry with him.

  • Is the first attache of the legation, Baron Werdern, in the palace?

  • At the head of the staircase my friend, the attache, met me.

    The Queen of Hearts Wilkie Collins
  • The attache promised that he would and returned to his post in Paris.

    The War After the War Isaac Frederick Marcosson
  • Pierre Troubetskoi had long known my father, who had been an attache in Russia.

    A Fascinating Traitor Richard Henry Savage
  • The count made a significant grimace, and executed something very like a wink, and the attache nodded significantly.

    Wild Margaret Geraldine Fleming
  • In the meantime, I beg leave to introduce to you my "attache," who will precede me several days.

    The Attache Thomas Chandler Haliburton
British Dictionary definitions for attache

attaché

/əˈtæʃeɪ; French ataʃe/
noun
1.
a specialist attached to a diplomatic mission: military attaché
2.
(Brit) a junior member of the staff of an embassy or legation
Word Origin
C19: from French: someone attached (to a mission), from attacher to attach
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 attache
n.

1835, from French attaché "junior officer attached to the staff of an ambassador, etc.," literally "attached," past participle of attacher "to attach" (see attach). Attache case "small leather case for carrying papers" first recorded 1900.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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attache in Culture
attaché [(a-ta-shay, at-uh-shay)]

A diplomatic officer attached to an embassy or consulate. Most attachés have specialties, such as military attachés, cultural attachés, economic attachés, and so forth.

Note: Some nations disguise spies as attachés.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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12
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