Definition of attach in English:

attach

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Join or fasten (something) to something else.

    ‘attach your safety line to the bridge’
    • ‘He could easily have attached an explosive device and blown up both subs.’
    • ‘You'll definitely need to attach a good heavy length of chain to it too.’
    • ‘In the lift I took to go home yesterday, someone had attached a sheet of paper which said ‘Propaganda is to democracy what violence is to dictatorship’.’
    • ‘so I create a sari-like effect with the blanket, and then pick up the baby bundle, gently laying him down in the cot and attaching the strap with the Velcro.’
    • ‘The surgery involves taking a piece of ligament from elsewhere in the body and attaching it within tunnels drilled into the bone around the knee joint, in place of the damaged ligament.’
    • ‘A few days ago I thought I saw a 333 in Sainsburys car park, but as I got closer I saw it was a 933, but the bolt that attached the number plate was right in the circle of the 9.’
    • ‘He also holds the record for attaching the most clothes pegs to his face: 159 at the last count.’
    • ‘It allows 32 devices or stations to be attached to one cable.’
    • ‘Tasers, which fire darts attached by wire to a battery, are frequently used by US law enforcement and are now about to be trialled on behalf of Scottish police by several forces south of the Border.’
    • ‘Police arrested a drug courier in London after attaching a covert listening device to his vehicle in Yorkshire and monitoring his conversations, a court heard.’
    • ‘They claim that by attaching cargo to a set of giant cables orbiting the Earth it is possible to propel the materials to the moon with a fraction of the fuel needed to send it in rockets.’
    • ‘During the Depression, unemployed veterans attached pawn tickets to their medal ribbons - a potent demonstration of their perceived betrayal.’
    • ‘When a warm body walks through thick underbrush and passes a tick, the tick attaches itself by clinging to clothing or fur.’
    • ‘It also functions as a 2-inch camera adaptor, allowing cameras to be attached to 2-inch eyepiece holders.’
    • ‘I clung onto bits of ice and tried desperately to remove the harness attaching me to the sledge.’
    • ‘At the end of a two-day trial at Cirencester Magistrates Court, District Judge Paul Clark ruled there was insufficient evidence to prove that in attaching the flag she intended to disrupt or obstruct security at the base.’
    • ‘Before going anywhere Debbie cracked on with the table decorations, attaching the ribbons for the balloons and spraying them with gold glitter while I blitzed the kitchen.’
    • ‘Can hanging baskets be attached to street lights?’
    • ‘This meant climbing to the top of the 80 ft mast in a safety harness, with the yacht plunging in gusts of wind and a choppy sea, and holding on for dear life for five hours while she attached a spare halyard.’
    • ‘The Alhambra's stage has been transformed by a huge team of technicians who assembled the rink then attached it, by rubber tubes running underneath, to a chiller unit.’
    • ‘It was understood by the parties that Berscheid would arrange to have the dashboard attached and then ship the vehicle to Germany at Koneke's expense.’
    • ‘They admitted attaching two boards to roadside railings in St Paul's Cray and were ordered to pay fines of £600 and costs totalling £300.’
    • ‘Mr Dilworth, realising if he didn't act quickly there would be a tragedy, cut the tackle of his fishing line to which he attached a three-ounce weight.’
    • ‘The Rock doesn't simply sit in the sea just off the coast of southern Spain, to which it is attached by a narrow isthmus, it very thoroughly dominates the entire coastline.’
    • ‘I could have dismantled the existing network cable from its wall connectors and fed that back through, then attached the new cable and pulled them both down together.’
    • ‘It was a simple matter of slotting it into the case and attaching it with a few screws.’
    • ‘The Stromness lifeboat stood by while a tow rope was attached by the Banff-registered fishing boat Enterprise.’
    • ‘Before setting off we test our girl scouting skills by attaching Hanna's sleeping bag to her bulging rucksack with bits of string.’
    • ‘There is also continued debate about whether they should be straight or helical, and about how best, mechanically, to align and attach them.’
    • ‘You can also attach this to a door to set off the alarm if an intruder tries to get in.’
    fasten, fix, affix, join, connect, couple, link, secure, make fast, tie, tie up, bind, fetter, strap, rope, tether, truss, lash, hitch, moor, anchor, yoke, chain
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Add or fasten (a related document) to another, or to an email.
      ‘I attach a copy of the memo for your information’
      • ‘I was in a hurry and I forgot to attach an important document.’
      • ‘For the public record, the complete text has been attached as Appendix I.’
      • ‘She also attached a list of piano teachers near me.’
      • ‘Also, attaching documents may give rise to the release of information not intended, hence the importance of vetting attachments.’
      • ‘He attaches a slightly more elaborate PDF document telling me what's wrong with the government's plans.’
      • ‘I get excited when publishers attach a short scrawled note, but this was a really in depth letter, and very constructive.’
      • ‘We note your statement in your letter of 7 June 2001 that you have not seen this letter and we attach a further copy.’
      • ‘I've attached a photo from him.’
      • ‘Make sure it is printed on good quality A4 size paper and never attach extra documents, letters or certificates - save these for the interview.’
      • ‘Afterwards she sent me an email attaching a picture which she said looks just like me.’
      • ‘What was initially sent to Mr Croft following this request was an email attaching the two photos with extra text.’
      • ‘I am attaching three documents that can be used to circulate this information.’
      • ‘Background details can be attached for more detailed information.’
      • ‘Darby penned an anonymous complaint and attached the CD.’
      • ‘I've attached a picture of ours (click image for enlargement).’
      • ‘I attached the document he needed to send and I copied him in so he'd know it had been sent.’
      • ‘5 seconds later I realise that I haven't attached my CV.’
      • ‘We know this because, when replying to the editor, he attached emails from these parties to add weight to the points he was making when commenting on my article.’
    2. 1.2 Include (a condition) as part of an agreement.
      ‘the Commission can attach appropriate conditions to the operation of the agreement’
      • ‘It attached 21 conditions, including the relocation of a planned crèche and nursing home.’
      • ‘However, European Commission regulators attached conditions that were considered too restrictive to make the deal worthwhile.’
      • ‘He said we should uphold the principle of free speech while recognising that it comes with conditions attached.’
      • ‘If a friend or family member gets involved there can often be conditions attached and emotional pressure on how to use the money or conflicts can be created.’
      • ‘That's why the World Bank attaches so many conditions when it sponsors.’
      • ‘The licensing procedure requires clearance from police, fire, health and safety, local authority, and local residents, and may come with expensive conditions attached.’
      • ‘With that, remittances by Ghanaians working abroad have become more significant than development aid, which is normally delivered with a lot of conditions attached.’
      • ‘It's worth bearing in mind, however, that regular savings accounts tend to have a raft of terms and conditions attached, so read the small print carefully before signing up.’
      • ‘The committee formalised an agreement to grant the caterer after-hours access to the formal gardens, albeit with conditions attached and a fireworks ban.’
      • ‘But there were still certain conditions to be attached, so far as most of the female players were concerned.’
      • ‘When he first discussed the seminar with a senior officer from another government, there were conditions attached, appropriate rank being one of them.’
      • ‘Managers must meet tough criteria prior to certification but this invariably comes with a range of conditions and deadlines attached.’
      • ‘While emphasising his party's readiness to sign off on the treaty, he attached two conditions.’
      • ‘Certain benefits, such as those embracing unemployment, disability and maternity, have always had conditions attached.’
      • ‘It's not being harsh but we simply have to attach some conditions because we cannot give money just like that.’
      • ‘When the authority grants such licences, it normally attaches conditions in order to restrict the effect of the anti-competitive aspects of the deal.’
      • ‘Meanwhile permission has been granted for 32 houses at Craigy, Monasterevin, with 54 conditions attached.’
      • ‘Lew sentenced her to probation and attached a condition: she had to give up drugs.’
      • ‘The report also challenges donor countries, the World Bank, and the IMF to focus on attaching fewer conditions such as spending caps and fiscal targets to foreign aid contributions.’
      • ‘However, we look forward to the day when all farming and management of the countryside is supported through payments that have environmental conditions attached.’
      • ‘There are a number of conditions attached: you must be a member of a band.’
      • ‘IMF-World Bank programs must not have conditions attached that force poor countries to open their markets regardless of the impact on poor people.’
    3. 1.3attach oneself to Accompany (a person or group) without being invited.
      ‘they were all too ready to attach themselves to you for the whole day’
      • ‘You are a princess, and whether you like it or not, you were born for a greater purpose than frolicking around with that no good, filthy lummox you have attached yourself to.’
      • ‘However, the alacrity with which other Nato states have accepted this role suggests they think they have more to benefit from attaching themselves to the US vanguard than opposing it.’
      • ‘Now businesses have reasons for attaching themselves to arts events.’
      • ‘Bohemians have been Rovers' traditional rivals since the demise of Drumcondra in the 1970s, with skinhead gangs attaching themselves to both clubs.’
      • ‘The larger the thing that you can credibly attach yourself to, the more meaning you get out of life.’
      • ‘He quotes Adorno in the essay, and like Adorno, he plays it safe by attaching himself to the contemporary establishment avant-garde.’
      • ‘Early coups included pictures of the October anniversary parade at the time of the 1957 Sputnik launch, which he got by attaching himself to a Soviet TV crew.’
      • ‘Besides, I didn't really want to attach myself to too many people, just to have them get older on me and then die.’
      • ‘Now the weaknesses have overwhelmed them and Williams has become a raving, paranoid, conspiratorial embarrassment to himself and to any cause he attaches himself to.’
      • ‘Everybody attaches themselves to a group, a tribe, a caste.’
      • ‘I pick artists that I attach myself to, bring them into my fold and somehow turn what they do into what I do.’
      • ‘Something had to be done, and oddly enough, it happened that very same day in the form of a question asked by the girl Sketch was trying to attach himself to at that time.’
      • ‘The new Liberal Unionist group he attached himself to never made it up with the rump of the Liberal Party, and eventually allied with the Conservatives.’
      • ‘Many of the characters in the book - the people he meets and attaches himself to along the way - will be dead in a decade.’
      • ‘He says the problem now being faced by the Home Office comes from a group of racist and xenophobic white males who are attaching themselves to the English supporters club.’
      • ‘You believe I have a choice as to whom I am to attach myself to, but you are wrong.’
      • ‘But by not attaching myself to a place… heck, even a country… I now feel an emotional distance between me and my friends.’
      • ‘A gang of troublemakers which attaches itself to York City Football Club has re-emerged - and a member has posted a site dedicated to the group on to the Internet.’
    4. 1.4 Appoint (someone) for special or temporary duties.
      ‘I was attached to another working group’
      • ‘I was attached as security detail to the civil affairs team as they toured the little town nearby.’
      assign, allot, allocate, detail, appoint
      View synonyms
  • 2attach toAttribute importance or value to.

    ‘he doesn't attach too much importance to fixed ideas’
    • ‘In a Scotland context, he has been criticised for not attaching sufficient importance to goalkicking.’
    • ‘But fans are still worried that the star players might not attach too much importance to the match and may not show off their real skills.’
    • ‘As someone who attaches no supernatural value to the crucifixion of Jesus, I would have preferred just a plain, non-supernatural special effects account of what probably happened that Friday.’
    • ‘Another remembered Jawaharlal Nehru's words and said that one should not attach too much importance to winning or losing an election.’
    • ‘If the elite attaches no great importance to having children, this says something quite disturbing about how our society views itself, and its future.’
    • ‘He attaches sufficient importance to the note to reproduce a photograph of it in the book.’
    • ‘We apparently attach more importance to money than we do to human life.’
    • ‘The government attaches the highest priority to the release of the hostages.’
    • ‘Moreover, realists argue that the need for survival requires state leaders to distance themselves from traditional morality which attaches a positive value to caution, piety, and the greater good of humankind as a whole.’
    • ‘He only remembered the visit to the stand on being asked about it by his solicitors, and had attached no importance to it at the time.’
    • ‘A foreign ministry spokeswoman said in Beijing: ‘The Chinese government attaches great importance to the incident.’’
    • ‘She attaches a high importance to female education.’
    • ‘It's no secret that companies are attaching greater importance to human performance today than ever before.’
    • ‘Turkey attaches importance to mutually furthering beneficial commercial and economic co-operation with Bulgaria.’
    • ‘Did the judge attach too great a weight to the appellants' non-compliance with the orders?’
    • ‘Albert then told me, without attaching any importance to it, that he had had a happy childhood.’
    • ‘Do you attach any importance to what the press say about your music and your live performances?’
    • ‘And even if they are aware of these factors, they don't attach much value to them.’
    • ‘Why did he think successive Irish governments attached such importance to talking to Adams and McGuinness?’
    • ‘He attaches great importance to merit and disdains quotas.’
    • ‘Contemporary thinking about medical ethics attaches much importance to respecting the patient's autonomy.’
    • ‘The Scottish Executive is attaching considerable importance to attempts to attract major sporting and cultural events to Scotland.’
    • ‘In other words, people already attached some importance to this commodity.’
    • ‘The law rightly attaches a high value to a person's reputation not only for that individual's sake but also in the wider interests of the public.’
    • ‘But any country that attaches any importance to the universal values of human rights should keep a close eye on them, and be willing to speak up whenever their words differ from their actions.’
    • ‘Dmitri was thankful that she had not attached any importance to his absence.’
    • ‘When life and death are treated in such a casual manner, are we not breeding people who attach no value to human life, not even their own?’
    • ‘The two things he attached most importance to were the freedom of the individual and the sovereignty of the United Kingdom.’
    • ‘She doesn't think it is right the fertility laws should attach so much importance to the presence of a father.’
    • ‘We need to look first at the value the classical Greeks attached to politics.’
    • ‘Our society attaches an absurd importance to the way people get their money.’
    • ‘The stigma attached by many religions to abortion I believe to be unfounded.’
    • ‘Yvonne attaches significance to the fact that James told his girlfriend, another recruit, that he had something interesting to tell her after his spell of duty.’
    • ‘Descartes was neither the first nor the last philosopher who wrote about the pineal gland, but he attached more importance to it than any other philosopher did.’
    • ‘But I expect the American public to attach increasing importance to cleaner environments.’
    • ‘But it is difficult to avoid the impression that their political leaders attach more importance to the present moment than to the future.’
    • ‘But if you attach too much importance to that, you'll feel very stupid.’
    • ‘Why do we attach so much importance to things like our computers?’
    • ‘This goes to the heart of why Graydon attaches such importance to the event.’
    • ‘However difficult it might be for the players, staff and supporters, administration is a necessary evil, and one to which football attaches undue melodrama.’
    • ‘He is far from being the first British Prime Minister to attach great importance to his relationship with the American president.’
    • ‘He attaches value to the need to meet sufficient live weight targets for heifers.’
    • ‘Such people tend to emphasise the separate status of their religion and attach an exaggerated importance to dress or behaviour.’
    lay, pin, place, impose, fix
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    1. 2.1attach tono object (of importance or value) be attributed to.
      ‘a good deal of prominence attaches to the central union federations’
      • ‘Judging whether any value attaches to the use made of it in these other spheres in any case depends on first understanding the ideas themselves.’
      • ‘Just as society grows, so do common needs grow, and so grows the value attaching to land.’
      • ‘That being the case, no importance attaches to the fact that the State of Israel did not exist when the offences were committed.’
      • ‘However, it is unclear why intrinsic value should attach to cultural survival as such.’
      • ‘The value which attaches to them can - up to a point - be measured in a price tag.’
      • ‘This means that the conclusions he reaches concerning cultural values attaching to old age are not in any way tested against records of actual practices.’
      • ‘I recognise at once that the damage to the property value as a result of the stigma attaching to this estate is just part of the damage he has suffered by unknowingly buying a house on an estate with a severe pollution problem.’
      • ‘However, the 5% rate attaches to the value of the house only, not the contents.’
      • ‘Much importance will soon attach to robotized means of warfare in underground service lines.’
      ascribe, assign, attribute, accredit, apply, impute
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  • 3Law
    archaic Seize (a person or property) by legal authority.

    ‘the Earl Marshal attached Gloucester for high treason’
    • ‘Buffalo City is successfully recovering money from defaulting ratepayers by attaching their properties.’
    • ‘To recover the alleged stolen money, he said the unit had attached all Stone's properties here and in Port Elizabeth.’
    • ‘They also attached property belonging to Naomi Worth, worth close to a million rand, including a Northcrest house.’
    seize, confiscate, commandeer, requisition, appropriate, expropriate, take possession of, take away, take, sequester, sequestrate
    View synonyms

Origin

Middle English (in the sense ‘seize by legal authority’): from Old French atachier or estachier ‘fasten, fix’, based on an element of Germanic origin related to stake; compare with attack.

Pronunciation

attach

/əˈtatʃ/