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  1. the act of detaching.
  2. the condition of being detached.
  3. aloofness, as from worldly affairs or from the concerns of others.
  4. freedom from prejudice or partiality.
  5. the act of sending out a detached force of troops or naval ships.
  6. the body of troops or ships so detached.
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Origin of detachment

From the French word détachement, dating back to 1660–70. See detach, -ment
Related formsnon·de·tach·ment, nounpre·de·tach·ment, noun


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for detachment

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British Dictionary definitions for detachment


  1. indifference to other people or to one's surroundings; aloofness
  2. freedom from self-interest or bias; disinterest
  3. the act of disengaging or separating something
  4. the condition of being disengaged or separated; disconnection
  5. military
    1. the separation of a small unit from its main body, esp of ships or troops
    2. the unit so detached
  6. Canadian a branch office of a police force
  7. logic the rule whereby the consequent of a true conditional statement, given the truth of its antecedent, may be asserted on its ownSee also modus ponens
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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 detachment


1660s, "action of detaching," from French détachement (17c.), from détacher (see detach). Meaning "portion of a military force" is from 1670s; that of "aloofness from objects or circumstances" is from 1798.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

detachment in Medicine


  1. The act or process of disconnecting or detaching; separation.
  2. The state of being separate or detached.
  3. Indifference to or remoteness from the concerns of others; aloofness.
  4. Absence of prejudice or bias; disinterest.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.