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[uh-tach-muh nt] /əˈtætʃ mənt/
an act of attaching or the state of being attached.
a feeling that binds one to a person, thing, cause, ideal, or the like; devotion; regard:
a fond attachment to his cousin; a profound attachment to the cause of peace.
  1. an emotional bond between an infant or toddler and primary caregiver, a strong bond being vital for the child’s normal behavioral and social development.
  2. an enduring emotional bond that develops between one adult and another in an intimate relationship:
    romantic attachment.
See also attachment disorder, attachment theory.
something that attaches; a fastening or tie:
the attachments of a harness; the attachments of a pair of skis.
an additional or supplementary device:
attachments for an electric drill.
Law. seizure of property or person by legal authority, especially seizure of a defendant's property to prevent its dissipation before trial or to acquire jurisdiction over it.
something attached, as a document added to a letter.
a computer or electronic file sent with an email.
Origin of attachment
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English attachement seizure < Anglo-French. See attach, -ment
Related forms
nonattachment, noun
overattachment, noun
preattachment, noun
reattachment, noun
self-attachment, noun
superattachment, noun
2. love, devotedness. 4. junction, connection.
Synonym Study
5. See addition. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for attachment
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This satisfied him, for he cared nothing for the attachment of those under his command.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • To increase the attachment of our people to the Union, our laws should be just.

  • I shall trouble you meanwhile to prevent his forming any other attachment when he comes to town.

    Lady Susan Jane Austen
  • And had not I proofs of his generous conduct and attachment to me?

  • What I value him so much for it his fidelity to myself, and his attachment to the whole family.

    Georgie's Present Miss Brightwell
British Dictionary definitions for attachment


a means of securing; a fastening
(often foll by to) affection or regard (for); devotion (to): attachment to a person or to a cause
an object to be attached, esp a supplementary part: an attachment for an electric drill
the act of attaching or the state of being attached
  1. the arrest of a person for disobedience to a court order
  2. the lawful seizure of property and placing of it under control of a court
  3. a writ authorizing such arrest or seizure
(law) the binding of a debt in the hands of a garnishee until its disposition has been decided by the court
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 attachment

c.1400, "arrest of a person on judicial warrant" (mid-13c. in Anglo-Latin), from French attachement, from attacher (see attach). Application to property (including, later, wages) dates from 1590s; meaning "sympathy, devotion" is recorded from 1704; that of "something that is attached to something else" dates from 1797 and has become perhaps the most common use since the rise of e-mail.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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