Definition of attachment in English:



  • 1An extra part or extension that is or may be attached to something to perform a particular function.

    ‘the processor comes complete with a blender attachment’
    • ‘The floor models are typically better buys with more accessories and attachments and are able to handle larger projects than the bench-top models.’
    • ‘Section 303 prohibits the use of makeshift fittings or attachments that are load bearing.’
    • ‘Not only will the attachments be hard to handle, you may wind up with an uneven overall length or possibly damage your hair unnecessarily.’
    • ‘These clamps are extra attachments that ensure the lander stays perfectly fixed to the spacecraft during the launch and is not affected by launch vibrations.’
    • ‘Attaching the attachment has become much simpler with the development of easy-to-operate hitching systems.’
    • ‘The flow rates and pressure of the auxiliary hydraulics play a key role in the performance of the attachments.’
    • ‘A volley of lasers shot out from a special attachment below the handle.’
    • ‘Compare frames, axles, transmissions, efficiency from power take off to attachments and interchangeability of attachments.’
    • ‘The policy stated that ‘the site, position or fitting of the attachment or sign should not promote decay in the pole or impede testing for decay.’’
    • ‘There were some reported incidences of cracks developing in the aluminum mast extrusions near these attachments but these problems seem to have been solved in later model boats.’
    • ‘I had my cordless drill with attachments, flat-tip screwdriver and a claw hammer.’
    • ‘However, you'll soon acquire a number of attachments to change the function of the gun that turn it into a sniper rifle and a grenade launcher.’
    • ‘In addition, the many attachments that can be added to the front and back of an ATV allow it to be a multiuse utility vehicle.’
    • ‘In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine the flour and semolina.’
    • ‘So I put it in the mixer with the paddle attachment attached.’
    • ‘Other useful attachments include hole saw blades, spade bits, buffing disks and depth stops, screw driving bits, sanding disks, or even a power grinder.’
    • ‘American military weapons cannot fire blanks without the addition of a bulky attachment to the firearm.’
    • ‘Remove the bowl, replace the hook attachment with the paddle attachment, and return to the mixer.’
    • ‘The growth in the types and performance of attachments for construction equipment shows no signs of stopping.’
    • ‘Many garden tillers have sickle bar mower attachments available.’
    • ‘The handle portion of the attachment should be on the top of your foot.’
    • ‘She took out the plug attachment and started dialing.’
    accessory, fitting, fitment, extension, supplementary part, supplementary component, extra, extra part, adjunct, addition, add-on, appurtenance, appendage, accoutrement, auxiliary
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    1. 1.1 A computer file appended to an email.
      • ‘Employees frequently copy or forward email messages with attachments, resulting in multiple repeated transmissions of the same or similar data.’
      • ‘Most email systems reliably allow file attachments of 1 megabyte or less.’
      • ‘If users bought a personal firewall and configured it never to accept incoming connections, and were smart about email attachments and websites, they'd be a lot safer.’
      • ‘The worm spreads by email as a file attachment called GONE.SCR’
      • ‘We need to teach staff to use file servers and File Transfer Protocol instead of e-mail attachments.’
      • ‘It spread via e-mail attachments, infected webpages and other computers linked on a network.’
      • ‘Vendors that make most of their money from desktop or server-based anti-virus scanners argue that most of these viruses could be thwarted by a policy of blocking executable attachments in email.’
      • ‘The spokeswoman said she did not know which Trojan or malware script the email attachment contained.’
      • ‘Often malicious in nature, it can be deposited as an e-mail attachment or as a website download and used to harvest passwords or other confidential data.’
      • ‘Yesterday my computer got infected with this virus after a friend opened an email attachment on my computer.’
      • ‘If I want to share my spreadsheet with you, I can easily send it to you as an email attachment, but what happens if the file is too large?’
      • ‘Changes in music consuming behaviour were not the result of the appearance of personal sites and the exchange of MP3 files as attachments in e-mail.’
      • ‘A simple selection may ban all e-mail with executable attachments, a great way to avoid virus-carrying messages.’
      • ‘When in doubt, always err on the side of caution and do not open, download, or execute files or e-mail attachments.’
      • ‘They also advise end-users to be extra careful about opening attachments.’
      • ‘Other viruses may infect a computer via an e-mail attachment or Web site but do not spread automatically after affecting the operations of the computer.’
      • ‘There's really no good reason to get caught out: simply filtering executable attachments from emails will guard against this virus.’
      • ‘Viruses can be sent out as email attachments to infect your computer if you open them.’
      • ‘If innocent computer users open the email attachment they run the risk of the worm opening a back door which will allow hackers to gain remote access to the PC.’
      • ‘This variant spreads itself in e-mails as an executable attachment.’
      • ‘I am not an idiot, I never open emails with file attachments or pictures even if I know who is sending them!’
      • ‘Individual PC users can now control what happens to the e-mail messages and attachments sent from their computers.’
  • 2mass noun Affection, fondness, or sympathy for someone or something.

    ‘she felt a sentimental attachment to the place creep over her’
    • ‘Your child may also develop a strong emotional attachment to a real friend and it's wrong to make fun of this.’
    • ‘With their lack of attachment to any specific place and their devotion to money and fame, could Asia's youth abandon all that previous generations have built?’
    • ‘Car owners will moan, but such is the attachment to our vehicles we will probably stump up the extra amount.’
    • ‘The survey found that Canadians feel strong attachment to their country, their province and their community, in that order.’
    • ‘The emotional attachments between the instructor and his pupils are obvious.’
    • ‘And although I've called Edinburgh my home for the last nine years, I still feel a strong emotional attachment to the place where I spent my childhood.’
    • ‘‘I feel a very strong emotional attachment to Claire,’ he told me six months after his daughter was born.’
    • ‘Of particular concern is the evidence that there is little attachment between the father and the children, particularly the younger two.’
    • ‘There is still a sizeable holding in the family, which has a strong sentimental attachment to the company.’
    • ‘Like so many of her generation, Katie had a deep faith and a very strong attachment to her religion.’
    • ‘Lynch proposes that higher levels of family interaction and attachment are associated with diminished adolescent sexual activity.’
    • ‘I believe that she has a strong bond of attachment to both of her parents and feels securely attached to each.’
    • ‘Small wonder, then, people here feel such a strong sense of attachment to their rugby heroes.’
    • ‘There is nothing sentimental about his attachment to the company he helped to found, but there is clear evidence of a huge personal commitment nevertheless.’
    • ‘There was a strong cultural attachment to the ideas of national and parliamentary sovereignty.’
    • ‘It is natural that people have a strong sense of attachment to historical houses and old neighbourhoods because they never fail to stir up emotion.’
    • ‘I suppose I could say I'm part of a community here, but I don't really feel any strong attachment to anyone.’
    • ‘Previously, Learner and Kruger found that parent attachment was positively associated with students' motivation to succeed.’
    • ‘It is time to look to the other side of my original question: why does the democracy work well despite the people having no strong attachment to it?’
    • ‘Almost universally in families, there are strong feelings of attachment to one another that defy logical explanation.’
    bond, closeness, devotion, loyalty
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    1. 2.1count noun An affectionate relationship.
      ‘he formed an attachment with a young widow’
      • ‘Childhood attachments may even affect our relationship style as adults.’
      • ‘However, they dared not discuss these romantic attachments with their parents.’
      • ‘Most marriages today are based on romantic attachments rather than the arranged marriages that were the norm in the past.’
      • ‘However, once they do become serious in a romantic attachment they must learn to curb their criticism and cultivate tolerance.’
      • ‘She had a few romantic attachments, but the one man she deemed worthy of commitment died before they could become engaged.’
      • ‘This is when temporary attachments are made and unsuspecting individuals can be trapped on an emotional roller coaster alongside a tear-streaked, unfamiliar face.’
      • ‘One learns of romantic attachments and failed marriages, of career successes and business failures, of committed lives and struggles with alcoholism.’
      • ‘They didn't even dare to develop romantic attachments.’
      • ‘Romantic attachments become loves that will last beyond the grave.’
      • ‘Nilani apparently never remarried, nor is Lenara married; it can be inferred that her love for Torias has excluded other romantic attachments.’
      • ‘Of the four romantic attachments that she has in the film, only Vincent Perez as Oskar Kokoschka has any life whatsoever.’
      • ‘All of those outbursts of passion and pathos are mostly showmanship, and it is truly amazing how easily these individuals can break off an attachment or relationship without shedding a tear.’
      • ‘Full of regret for past failures, the characters in the film live lives fraught with bad timing, missed chances and impossible attachments.’
      • ‘Exclusive romantic attachments were broken up as threats to group stability.’
      • ‘In the context of talking about a date during a junket in Lake Tahoe, Olivia told me that she really hadn't formed any romantic attachments at all in her lifetime.’
      • ‘Naturally, he'd always shied away from emotional attachments, especially romantic ones, since love was something he knew pitifully little about.’
      • ‘In a film that charts the neurotic romantic attachments of three Manhattan sisters through the focal point of a Thanksgiving party, there are bit players and comedic cameos of the highest order infusing every scene.’
      • ‘Though making romantic attachments seems a big reason these club-goers go out, very few end up in pairs.’
      • ‘His observations of the highs and lows of her marriage and motherhood, the divorce and her romantic attachments, keep the reader turning pages.’
      • ‘Rather, it is a quality of being that affects one's whole way of life, including our friendships and family ties, our romantic attachments, our identities and our behaviour patterns.’
      relationship, friendly relationship, close relationship, mutual attachment, alliance, association, close association, bond, tie, link, union
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  • 3British Temporary secondment to an organization.

    ‘the students are placed on attachment to schools for one day a week’
    • ‘Therefore many take up temporary unpaid observer attachments in the hope of transferring to a training post.’
    • ‘The hospitals in Merthyr, Newport, and Pontypridd where I served my student attachments and house jobs are now gone, replaced by sparkling new edifices.’
    • ‘He is one of the lucky ones; he has just passed the first of his exams, and now he is on attachment in north London and waiting for the results of his second exam.’
    • ‘It is now far simpler to work with another department and job sharing and short-term attachments are the rule rather than the exception.’
    • ‘I was a second year clinical student, doing part of my obstetric attachment in January in one of the colder parts of Britain.’
    • ‘As well as being a qualified area car driver and tutor constable, he had spent time on attachment with the force child protection unit, where, ironically, he had been trained in interviewing children.’
    • ‘Because free agent workers do not usually have long-term attachments to one organization, their needs for career development must be met in non-traditional ways.’
    • ‘He published articles on health visitor attachments and group practice organisation.’
    • ‘A mother whose son is serving on attachment with the Black Watch vented her anger at the Prime Minister yesterday over the decision to move troops in Iraq.’
    • ‘He said under-20 players could be sent on attachment for varying periods of up to six months while under-17 players could go to football schools.’
    • ‘He said the club would find employment for the players while on attachment there.’
    assignment, detail, appointment, allocation, secondment, transfer, relocation
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  • 4mass noun The action of attaching something.

    ‘the case has a loop for attachment to your waist belt’
    • ‘These conditions favor attachment and growth of bacteria and allow for a greatly increased bacterial density.’
    • ‘Constructed from machined aluminum, this combat light also can be used for signaling and has a stainless-steel belt clip for sturdy attachment.’
    • ‘For easy access a stainless split ring and snap are included for attachment to clothing loops and button holes.’
    • ‘Each pet identification tag comes with a split ring for attachment to your pet's collar.’
    • ‘A small plastic zip-lock bag of hardware for attachment to the tripod and for mounting the telescope was included.’
    fixing, fastening, affixing, linking, coupling, clamping, connection, connecting
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    1. 4.1 Legal seizure of property.
      • ‘It came in the form of stay laws, restrictions upon forced sales, and freedom from attachment for debt for certain classes of property.’
      • ‘An exception applies, however, if the foreign branch of the bank closes down prior to the appropriation or attachment of the funds by the foreign government.’
      • ‘Under Texas law, these are exempt from attachment, execution and seizure for the satisfaction of debt.’
      • ‘Trustees in bankruptcy were appointed and the court ordered attachment of its property.’
      • ‘This was not surprising in view of the fact that in most cases security was put up voluntarily and without an arrest or attachment and therefore without reference to the jurisdiction of a court of arrest or attachment.’
      • ‘With quasi-judicial powers, NHB will be able to recommend attachment of property in case of default in loan repayments.’
      seizure, confiscation, appropriation, expropriation, sequestration, taking away, commandeering
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  • attachment of earnings

    • Payment of debts by direct deduction from the debtor's earnings, under a court order.

      • ‘He can opt for methods such as an attachment of earnings order or a charging order but the most common recourse is to call in the bailiffs.’
      • ‘The main methods of enforcement are distress (little used), committal to prison and the making of an attachment of earnings order under the Attachment of Earnings Act 1971.’
      • ‘He also began to pay the periodical payments, although it was necessary to have an attachment of earnings order.’


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘arrest for contempt of court’): from Old French attachement, from atachier ‘fasten, fix’ (see attach).