at·​tach ə-ˈtach How to pronounce attach (audio)
attached; attaching; attaches

transitive verb

: to take by legal authority especially under a writ
attached the property
: to bring (oneself) into an association
attached herself to their cause
: to assign (an individual or unit in the military) temporarily
: to bind by personal ties (as of affection or sympathy)
was strongly attached to his family
: to make fast (as by tying or gluing)
attach a label to a package
: to associate especially as a property or an attribute : ascribe
attached great importance to public opinion polls
: to include and send (a separate document or file) with an electronic message (such as an email or text message)
Unlike … some other social networking hubs, Beejive allows you to attach photos or videos to a message, or download files from messages, just as you would via e-mail.Bob Tedeschi
attachable adjective
Choose the Right Synonym for attach

fasten, fix, attach, affix mean to make something stay firmly in place.

fasten implies an action such as tying, buttoning, nailing, locking, or otherwise securing.

fasten the reins to a post

fix usually implies a driving in, implanting, or embedding.

fixed the stake in the ground

attach suggests a connecting or uniting by a bond, link, or tie in order to keep things together.

attach the W-2 form here

affix implies an imposing of one thing on another by gluing, impressing, or nailing.

affix your address label here

Example Sentences

I've attached an application to the brochure for you. She attached a note to the package. I attached the file to the e-mail. The handle attaches here on the top.
Recent Examples on the Web One copepod species can swim into the womb of a gestating shark and attach itself to her calf. Jennie Rothenberg Gritz, Smithsonian Magazine, 6 Jan. 2023 How, then, can scientists attach tracking devices to young bears and male polar bears? Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 Jan. 2023 Or, attach baskets to the wall for a spot to fold extra towels and washcloths. Hadley Mendelsohn, House Beautiful, 13 Jan. 2023 This organizer can attach to almost any stroller and provide some instant extra space. Marisa Lascala And Lori Bergamotto, Good Housekeeping, 12 Jan. 2023 Employers may attach significant stock grants or another compensation opportunity to the contract, and those who leave for a competitor risk losing that money. Time, 9 Jan. 2023 The pen can magnetically attach to the side of the tablet like this. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, 5 Jan. 2023 Being able to attach the right set of skills to size is the crucial part. Morten Jensen, Forbes, 23 May 2022 Circa 2004, Donald Trump was that rich guy who said boorish things on Howard Stern, kept declaring bankruptcy, and was willing to attach his name to literally anything. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 4 Feb. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'attach.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Middle English, from Anglo-French attacher, alteration of Old French estachier, from estache stake, of Germanic origin; akin to Old English staca stake

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of attach was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near attach

Cite this Entry

“Attach.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition


at·​tach ə-ˈtach How to pronounce attach (audio)
: to take money or property by legal authority especially to gain or force payment of a debt
attach a person's salary
: to fasten or join one thing to another
attach a light to a bicycle
attach a file to an e-mail
: to tie or bind by feelings of affection
the children were attached to their dog
: to assign (an individual or unit in the military) temporarily
attach an officer to a headquarters
: to think of as belonging to something
attach no importance to a remark
attachable adjective

Legal Definition



transitive verb

: to obtain a court order against (property of another person) that directs an officer of the court (as a sheriff) to seize or take control of the property compare garnish, levy

Note: A plaintiff may attach a defendant's property as a way of obtaining jurisdiction for the purpose of bringing a lawsuit or to prevent the defendant from getting rid of property that may be needed to pay a judgment to the plaintiff.

: to join or make a part of
affidavits attached to the suitRosalind Resnick
: to create a security interest in (property) and so acquire the right to foreclose on or otherwise deal with property for payment of a debt and to exercise one's rights in the property against third parties see also security interest at interest sense 1 compare perfect

intransitive verb

: to become effective: as
: to come into existence as a security interest
from the date the interest attaches
: to become operative especially as a right
the right to counsel attaches only at or after the initiation of adversary judicial proceedingsUnited States v. Gouveia, 467 U.S. 180 (1984)
see also jeopardy
attachable adjective
attachment noun

History and Etymology for attach

Anglo-French attacher to lodge (an action in court), seize (a person or property) by legal authority, from Old French atachier to fasten, fix, alteration of estachier, from estache stake

More from Merriam-Webster on attach

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
Name That Thing

You know what it looks like… but what is it called?

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?