verb at·tach \ ə-ˈtach \
|Updated on: 18 Aug 2018

Definition of attach

attached; attaching; attaches
1 : to take by legal authority especially under a writ
  • attached the property
2 a : to bring (oneself) into an association
  • attached herself to their cause
b : to assign (an individual or unit in the military) temporarily
3 : to bind by personal ties (as of affection or sympathy)
  • was strongly attached to his family
4 : to make fast (as by tying or gluing)
  • attach a label to a package
5 : to associate especially as a property or an attribute : ascribe
  • attached great importance to public opinion polls
6 : to include and send (a separate document or file) with an electronic message (such as an e-mail 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


play \ə-ˈta-chə-bəl\ adjective

Examples of attach in a Sentence

  1. I've attached an application to the brochure for you.

  2. She attached a note to the package.

  3. I attached the file to the e-mail.

  4. The handle attaches here on the top.

Recent Examples of attach from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of attach

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

Synonym Discussion of 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

ATTACH Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of attach for English Language Learners

  • : to fasten or join one thing to another

  • : to be or become joined or connected

  • : to associate or connect one thing with another

ATTACH Defined for Kids


verb at·tach \ ə-ˈtach \

Definition of attach for Students

attached; attaching
1 : to fasten or join one thing to another
  • The boy attached a bell to his bicycle.
2 : to bind by feelings of affection
  • … Marty's got awful attached to that dog …
  • —Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, Shiloh
3 : to think of as belonging to something
  • Attach no importance to his remark.

Law Dictionary


verb at·tach

legal Definition of attach

1 : 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.
2 : to join or make a part of
  • affidavits attached to the suit
  • —Rosalind Resnick
3 : 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 1 — compare perfect
: to become effective: as
a : to come into existence as a security interest
  • from the date the interest attaches
b : to become operative especially as a right
  • the right to counsel attaches only at or after the initiation of adversary judicial proceedings
  • United States v. Gouveia, 467 U.S. 180 (1984)
— see also jeopardy





Origin and Etymology of 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

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excessive admiration or flattery

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