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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

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British Dictionary definitions for detachable


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

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 detachable


1818; see detach + -able.

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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

detachable 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.