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verb (used with object)
  1. to unfasten and separate; disengage; disunite.
  2. Military. to send away (a regiment, ship, etc.) on a special mission.
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Origin of detach

1470–80; < Middle French détacher, Old French destachier; see dis-1, attach
Related formsde·tach·a·ble, adjectivede·tach·a·bil·i·ty, nounde·tach·a·bly, adverbde·tach·er, nounnon·de·tach·a·bil·i·ty, nounnon·de·tach·a·ble, adjectivepre·de·tach, verb (used with object)self-de·tach·ing, adjectiveun·de·tach·a·ble, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for detach

dissociate, disassemble, disentangle, separate, isolate, disengage, segregate, sever, free, loosen, loose, divide, disassociate, divorce, unhitch, disjoin, remove, uncouple, dismount, part

Examples from the Web for detach

Contemporary Examples of detach

Historical Examples of detach

British Dictionary definitions for detach


verb (tr)
  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
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Derived Formsdetachable, adjectivedetachability, noundetacher, noun

Word Origin for detach

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

Word Origin and History for detach


1680s, from French détacher "to detach, untie," from Old French destachier, from des- "apart" + attachier "attach" (see attach). Related: Detached; detaching.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

detach in Medicine


  1. To separate or unfasten; disconnect.
  2. To remove from association or union with something.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.