[ dih-tach ]
See synonyms for detach on
verb (used with object)
  1. to unfasten and separate; disengage; disunite.

  2. Military. to send away (a regiment, ship, etc.) on a special mission.

Origin of detach

1470–80; <Middle French détacher,Old French destachier;see dis-1, attach

Other words from detach

  • de·tach·a·ble, adjective
  • de·tach·a·bil·i·ty, noun
  • de·tach·a·bly, adverb
  • de·tach·er, noun
  • non·de·tach·a·bil·i·ty, noun
  • non·de·tach·a·ble, adjective
  • pre·de·tach, verb (used with object)
  • self-de·tach·ing, adjective
  • un·de·tach·a·ble, adjective

Words Nearby detach Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use detach in a sentence

  • Even the entrance of Rorie, and the beginning of our meal, did not detach him from his train of thought beyond a moment.

  • I have expressed the idea in other words in order to detach the thoughts of my readers from the traditional false interpretation.

    My Religion | Leo Tolstoy
  • If the Dons detach their fleet out of the Mediterranean, we can do the same—however, that is distant.

    The Life of Nelson, Vol. I (of 2) | A. T. (Alfred Thayer) Mahan

British Dictionary definitions for detach


/ (dɪˈtætʃ) /

  1. to disengage and separate or remove, as by pulling; unfasten; disconnect

  2. military to separate (a small unit) from a larger, esp for a special assignment

Origin of detach

C17: from Old French destachier, from des- dis- 1 + attachier to attach

Derived forms of detach

  • detachable, adjective
  • detachability, noun
  • detacher, noun

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