Definition of detachment in English:



  • 1mass noun The state of being objective or aloof.

    ‘he felt a sense of detachment from what was going on’
    • ‘For the thinking designer, cool detachment seems to be the only note that can be struck with any conviction.’
    • ‘Journalistic norms call for the same attempt at objectivity and detachment.’
    • ‘They do not claim to be objective, of course, because they know that real objectivity is impossible, nor do they confuse distance with detachment.’
    • ‘These functions must be carried out with objectivity and detachment and the institution must therefore be structured in such a way as to facilitate this goal.’
    • ‘While watching ‘The Passion’ I felt a sense of detachment even as I was being emotionally pummeled by the images on the screen.’
    • ‘‘I come to this post with experience of showing detachment and objectivity’, he said.’
    • ‘In the effort to avoid the charge of elitist arrogance they are in danger of abandoning the only commodities which they have to sell: detachment and objective judgment.’
    • ‘She talks about her past with a certain amount of detachment, even objectivity.’
    • ‘In truth, we envy his capacity for cool detachment - this is not a luxury we can enjoy.’
    • ‘I wish I could approach this with the cool detachment that I view the new series of Enterprise, or the next episode of Desperate Housewives.’
    • ‘The epistemological ideals of clarity, detachment and objectivity have silenced nature's voice.’
    • ‘As the direction demands, they stay on point, rendering Beckett's dark humour with an appropriate sense of impersonality and detachment.’
    • ‘With this disillusionment came a sense of elated detachment.’
    • ‘Po imparts the sense of detachment that allows one to remain in the moment.’
    • ‘Instead, the film-makers create an ever-expanding universe of accidental characters and sub-plot lines that perpetuate a sense of futility and detachment.’
    • ‘Collins always seemed to play the game with an air of detachment, a cool aloofness in his comfortable possession of the ball and passing that was as smooth as soul music.’
    • ‘John F. Kennedy, with his cool detachment, humor and irony, was the supreme example.’
    • ‘Paradoxically, by presenting events with cool detachment even during moments of great danger, audience involvement becomes more and more intense.’
    • ‘But attitudes of detachment and objectivity are as necessary to the work of the pathology laboratory as sympathy and compassion are to the conduct of a funeral service.’
    • ‘The intellectual's obligation to detachment and objectivity is never lost sight of.’
    objectivity, dispassion, dispassionateness, disinterest, indifference, aloofness, remoteness, distance, open-mindedness, neutrality, lack of bias, lack of prejudice, impartiality, fairness, fair-mindedness, equitability, even-handedness, unselfishness
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  • 2Military
    A group of troops, aircraft, or ships sent away on a separate mission.

    ‘a detachment of Marines’
    mass noun ‘the Squadron went on detachment to Malta’
    • ‘U.S. Central Command sent a detachment of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division to control the facility's gate.’
    • ‘The Special Operations division deployed missions and detachments in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, Burma, Siam (now Thailand), and China.’
    • ‘The Japanese garrison, which included two infantry battalions and naval detachments, resisted tenaciously and the islands were not declared secure until 18 May.’
    • ‘The detachment accomplished its objective with no casualties, returning on May 26, 1883.’
    • ‘The four Kidd-class destroyers will become the flag ships of separate detachments of the task force,’ he said.’
    unit, detail, squad, troop, contingent, outfit, task force, crew, patrol, section, formation
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    1. 2.1 A party of people separated from a larger group.
      ‘a truck containing a detachment of villagers’
      • ‘Pickel said the accused were ‘nothing more nor less than a detachment of international fascism.’’
      • ‘The most unlikely volunteers recently joined with the PMG's small engineering detachment to assist in emergency airfield repairs.’
      • ‘Already, a detachment of Vanguards was on its way to intercept the Wings.’
      • ‘May I suggest a special detachment of NYC blogfesters to help out?’
      • ‘This, of course, does not factor any of the weapons seized by any of the other municipal police forces or any of the RCMP detachments in the Lower Mainland in the same period.’
      • ‘While neither excessive speed nor alcohol was a factor in this crash, police from both detachments were still urging drivers to slow down because of generally poor road conditions.’
      • ‘A small group of RAAF photo-interpreters was based in Saudi Arabia, together with a detachment from the Defence Intelligence Organisation.’
      • ‘Thiessen said hundreds of grow-ops are currently under surveillance by the detachment's dedicated pot-busting five-man unit.’
      • ‘While he says he thoroughly enjoyed working with members at the detachment, especially those who worked for him in Highway Patrol, he says there are aspects of the job he definitely won't miss.’
      • ‘Special detachments of Jews, who were called Sonderkommando were forced by the SS to remove corpses from the gas chambers and burn them.’
      • ‘A short time later, a large detachment of early teens, including William's daughter Rachel, arrived home after roaming nearby streets for most of the evening.’
      • ‘Last but not least, a detachment of Democratic delegates will dare to step outside the protection of the Staples bubble to join some of the protests.’
      body, body of people, group, outfit, party, team
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  • 3mass noun The action or process of detaching; separation.

    ‘structural problems resulted in cracking and detachment of the wall’
    • ‘He subsequently developed a left retinal detachment and was referred to the vitreoretinal unit for surgery.’
    • ‘The scarring and bleeding caused by the excess growth of these blood vessels can lead to retinal detachment, resulting in vision loss.’
    • ‘If the vitreous is exceptionally adherent to a weak point on the retina, a tear, hole, or detachment may develop.’
    • ‘Application of pressures above - 25 mm Hg resulted in detachment of the aspirated projection forming a separate vesicle.’
    • ‘This can lead to retinal detachment, in which the retina and optic nerve separate - a bit like pulling the plug on the whole system.’
    • ‘Ven mutants exhibit gross anatomical defects in the nerve cords, including their complete detachment from the body wall.’
    • ‘For thick coatings the mode of release was a broad peel front that led to detachment, whereas removal on thin coatings occurred by localized peeling and coalescence.’
    • ‘Interlinked systems of predominantly sinistral detachment faults are developed lying parallel to or at low angles to bedding.’
    • ‘The implications of this idea extend beyond vascular disease to other matrix remodeling and detachment processes such as cancer.’
    • ‘Retinal detachment (separation of the retina from the pigment epithelium behind it) is a rarer cause of blindness.’
    • ‘Movement along the P detachment may have resulted in the final separation of the crust and the exposure of mantle at the sea floor in the south of the study area, although here the nature of basement has not yet been determined.’
    • ‘In contrast, bead detachment during the initial ramp-up period was almost instantaneous and usually occurred without visible deformation of the cell body.’
    • ‘These vessels leak fluid and blood and scar the nerve tissue inside the eye, increasing the risk of retinal detachment and severe vision loss in infants.’
    • ‘A second form of retinal detachment may develop when new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina.’
    • ‘Among the Aeromonas spp. tested in this study, cell detachment and shrinkage were observed as cytopathic change.’
    • ‘The parameters of this model are the rate constants f and g for myosin binding and detachment, and the free and bound variance levels VI and VZ.’
    • ‘Blunt injury to the eyeball tends to be less dangerous, but, if severe, may cause rupture and collapse of the globe, loss of contents and detachment of the retina.’
    • ‘The process of abortion, consists of two parts, detachment and expulsion; but these do not always bear an uniform relation to each other, in their duration or severity.’
    • ‘During the final stages of fruit development, detachment of the valves from the replum proceeds.’
    • ‘Cell detachment and shrinkage of Vero cells were recorded as toxic changes.’
    loosening, disconnection, unfastening, disengagement, parting, separation, uncoupling, removal, loosing, untying, unhitching, undoing, unhooking, unbuttoning, unzipping, freeing, severing, pulling off, cutting off, hacking off, chopping off, pruning, breaking off, disuniting
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Mid 17th century: from French détachement, from détacher ‘to detach’ (see detach).