not attached; separated: a detached ticket stub.
having no wall in common with another building (opposed to attached): a detached house.
impartial or objective; disinterested; unbiased: a detached judgment.
not involved or concerned; aloof.

Origin of detached

First recorded in 1700–10; detach + -ed2
Related formsde·tached·ly [dih-tach-id-lee, -tacht-lee] /dɪˈtætʃ ɪd li, -ˈtætʃt li/, adverbde·tach·ed·ness, nounun·de·tached, adjective

Synonyms for detached

Antonyms for detached

1, 2. attached.



verb (used with object)

to unfasten and separate; disengage; disunite.
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
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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for detached

Contemporary Examples of detached

Historical Examples of detached

  • Supposing him ready to separate from her, could she be detached from him?


    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • The sixth man was Scottie, who had long since been detached from the party.

  • It is present in all his works, in stray letters and detached passages.

  • In fact, Claudio's temper here is as detached and impartial as Benedick's.

  • He said these words slowly, without emphasis, in almost a detached manner.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

British Dictionary definitions for detached



disconnected or standing apart; not attacheda detached house
having or showing no bias or emotional involvement; disinterested
social welfare working at the clients' normal location rather than from an office; not dependent on premises for providing a servicea detached youth worker Compare outreach (def. 7)
ophthalmol (of the retina) separated from the choroid layer of the eyeball to which it is normally attached, resulting in loss of vision in the affected part


verb (tr)

to disengage and separate or remove, as by pulling; unfasten; disconnect
military to separate (a small unit) from a larger, esp for a special assignment
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 detached



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

detached in Medicine




Separated; disconnected.
Standing apart from others; separate.




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