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From Old French atachier (French: attacher, Italian: attaccare, Spanish: atacar, Portuguese atacar).


  • IPA(key): /əˈtætʃ/
  • Rhymes: -ætʃ
  • Hyphenation: at‧tach


attach ‎(third-person singular simple present attaches, present participle attaching, simple past and past participle attached)

  1. (obsolete, law) To arrest, seize.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, I.xii:
      Eftsoones the Gard, which on his state did wait, / Attacht that faitor false, and bound him strait []
    • 1610, The Tempest, by William Shakespeare, act 3 scene 2
      Old lord, I cannot blame thee, / Who am myself attach'd with weariness / To th' dulling of my spirits: sit down, and rest.
    • Miss Yonge
      The earl marshal attached Gloucester for high treason.
  2. (transitive) To fasten, to join to (literally and figuratively).
    An officer is attached to a certain regiment, company, or ship.
    • Paley
      The shoulder blade is [] attached only to the muscles.
    • Macaulay
      a huge stone to which the cable was attached
    • 2013 July-August, Lee S. Langston, “The Adaptable Gas Turbine”, American Scientist:
      Turbines have been around for a long time—windmills and water wheels are early examples. The name comes from the Latin turbo, meaning vortex, and thus the defining property of a turbine is that a fluid or gas turns the blades of a rotor, which is attached to a shaft that can perform useful work.
    You need to attach the carabiner to your harness.
  3. (intransitive) To adhere; to be attached.
    • Brougham
      The great interest which attaches to the mere knowledge of these facts cannot be doubted.
  4. To come into legal operation in connection with anything; to vest.
    Dower will attach.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Cooley to this entry?)
  5. To win the heart of; to connect by ties of love or self-interest; to attract; to fasten or bind by moral influence; with to.
    attached to a friend; attaching others to us by wealth or flattery
    • Jane Austen
      incapable of attaching a sensible man
    • Cowper
      God [] by various ties attaches man to man.
  6. To connect, in a figurative sense; to ascribe or attribute; to affix; with to.
    to attach great importance to a particular circumstance
    • Bayard Taylor
      To this treasure a curse is attached.
  7. (obsolete) To take, seize, or lay hold of.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)



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