Definition of attaché in US English:



  • 1A person on the staff of an ambassador, typically with a specialized area of responsibility.

    ‘military attachés’
    • ‘As international crime began to look like a growing threat, FBI director Louis Freeh seized the opportunity to nearly double the number of law enforcement attachés assigned to U.S. embassies.’
    • ‘In the last week of June, a defense attaché and a political officer from the US Embassy in New Delhi made an unpublicised visit to Jammu and Kashmir.’
    • ‘Green said that the press attaché at the U.S. embassy in Amman had passed on the information.’
    • ‘Three officials from the foreign ministry in Pyongyang, and an attaché from the North Korean embassy in London, met Irish economic and political experts in meetings arranged by the Department of Foreign Affairs.’
    • ‘The Ambassador thought that his attaché lacked objectivity and analytical skill.’
    • ‘Its embassy has three full-time Australian police attachés whose duties include the tracking of paedophiles.’
    • ‘Because the larger U.S. federal law-enforcement agencies have attachés posted in foreign countries, their agents often end up handling investigations.’
    • ‘According to media reports, the defence attaché of the US embassy in Colombo accompanied the group.’
    • ‘In September Dixon received telegrams informing him that his air attaché was being replaced.’
    • ‘During this journey Layard became fascinated by archaeology and became an unpaid diplomatic attaché in Constantinople so that he could continue and expand his interests.’
    • ‘Between 1940 and 1945, Krapf was a legation secretary and attaché with the German embassy in Tokyo and was active as an informant for the security agency.’
    • ‘The Philippines labor attaché in Dubai said repatriation is being arranged.’
    • ‘Martin Rwoceaczyt, the press attaché of the French Embassy in Sofia, refused to comment on the matter due to a lack of official information from Paris.’
    • ‘Stokovsky obliged, preparing a letter to the Soviet diplomatic attaché in Warsaw.’
    • ‘He also had close personal connections with Israel, having frequently worked two-week stints as a defense attaché at the US embassy in Tel Aviv as part of his service in the military reserve.’
    • ‘Several thousand students have passed through the Marshall Center and gone on to hold positions as Cabinet ministers, ambassadors and defense attachés.’
    • ‘As we were being shown around, one of the other ambassadors and his attaché, Richard, arrived.’
    • ‘He served as a naval attaché in Washington, and in the 1930s was responsible for developing the Japanese Navy Air Corps.’
    • ‘The British attaché he saw dismissed him with the words ‘I don't believe you’.’
    • ‘It was then that Hungary assigned him to serve as assistant military and air attaché in London.’
    • ‘He became a sailor, and upon graduation from the Japanese Naval Staff College, was assigned as Japan's naval attaché to the United States.’
    envoy, diplomat, ambassador extraordinary, ambassador plenipotentiary, plenipotentiary, consul, chargé d'affaires, emissary, legate, nuncio, papal nuncio, representative, deputy
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  • 2North American

    short for attaché case
    • ‘He reaches into his attaché, removes a jewel case and hands it to her.’


Early 19th century: from French, literally ‘attached’, past participle of attacher.