at·​tach·​ment | \ ə-ˈtach-mənt How to pronounce attachment (audio) \
plural attachments

Definition of attachment

1 : a seizure by legal process also : the writ or precept commanding such seizure
2a : the state of being personally attached : fidelity attachment to a cause
b : affectionate regard a deep attachment to nature
c psychology : a strong emotional bond that an infant forms with a caregiver (such as a mother) especially when viewed as a basis for normal emotional and social development Of course, the mother provides food and warmth, but for the purposes of attachment what really matters is the sense of safety, comfort, and refuge the mother provides.— Henry Gleitman et al. also : the process by which an infant forms such an emotional bond Healthy attachment, via attuned parenting, equips human beings for resilience, success, and emotional, psychological, and physiological well-being. — Lindsey Porter
3 : a device attached to a machine or implement
4 : the physical connection by which one thing is attached to another
5 : the process of physically attaching
6 : a separate document or file that is included and sent with an electronic message (such as an e-mail or text message) The trick to sending attachments successfully is to know what e-mail program and operating system your recipient uses.— Adam C. Engst

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Synonyms & Antonyms for attachment


affection, devotedness, devotion, fondness, love, passion


abomination, hate, hatred, loathing, rancor

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Examples of attachment in a Sentence

The vacuum cleaner attachments help clean in tight spaces. I need a longer attachment for the drill. I'll send the document as an attachment to my next e-mail.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Weighing the practical value of a bridge, church building or barn against the real emotional value of human attachment is difficult. Edward Lotterman, Twin Cities, "Real World Economics: Weighing the value of what we spend," 18 Aug. 2019 One way the tariffs will squeeze farmers, landscapers and construction firms is by raising the price of excavators and loaders made by Bobcat, which uses attachments imported from China. Author: Paul Wiseman, Josh Boakap, Anchorage Daily News, "US-China trade war elevates the risks to the global economy," 7 July 2018 Advertising Seven years of attachment to local black cultural organizations like art space CD Forum and the Northwest African American Museum gradually led to more integration with the community here. Marcus Harrison Green, The Seattle Times, "Festival showcasing excellence declares Seattle’s black community is indeed ‘Out Here’," 15 June 2019 Once at the restaurant in his neighborhood with Mary and her fiance, the slippery slope of Bigger’s attachment to his new life in the white world begins. Prince Shakur, Teen Vogue, ""Native Son" Reflects a World Where Young Black Men Are Often Set Up to Fail," 16 Apr. 2019 In fact, in Hoekzema’s study, moms who scored higher on tests of attachment to their child had greater reductions in these regions. Teal Burrell, Discover Magazine, "Making Sense of Mommy Brain," 1 Jan. 2019 That’s why, among the assortment of attachments that come with the styler, there’s a pre-styling dryer meant to dry your hair to the ideal moisture level. Dami Lee, The Verge, "The $500 Dyson Airwrap styler vacuums up wet hair to curl it," 10 Oct. 2018 That level of personal attachment is not lost on everyone working on the project. Cassie Dickman, sacbee, "Iconic Tower Records mural in downtown is getting a little love," 10 July 2018 Audience members speak with many voices, use music and other cultural materials in many ways, and have different levels of attachment to the objects of their attention. Nancy Baym, WIRED, "Book Excerpt: How Music Fans Built the Internet," 10 July 2018

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

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First Known Use of attachment

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for attachment

Last Updated

5 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for attachment

The first known use of attachment was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for attachment



English Language Learners Definition of attachment

: an extra part that can be used with a machine to make it do a particular job
: strong feelings of affection or loyalty for someone or something
: a document or file that is sent with e-mail


at·​tach·​ment | \ ə-ˈtach-mənt How to pronounce attachment (audio) \

Kids Definition of attachment

1 : connection by feelings of affection or regard The children had a strong attachment to their grandmother.
2 : an extra part that can be attached to a machine or tool vacuum cleaner attachments
3 : a connection by which one thing is joined to another The attachment that connects the oar to the rowboat is broken.


at·​tach·​ment | \ ə-ˈtach-mənt How to pronounce attachment (audio) \

Medical Definition of attachment

1 : a strong emotional bond that an infant forms with a caregiver (such as a mother) especially when viewed as a basis for normal emotional and social development also : the process by which an infant forms an attachment
2 : the physical connection by which one thing is attached to another sever the attachments of a muscle to a bone

Other Words from attachment

attach \ ə-​ˈtach How to pronounce attach (audio) \ verb

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Comments on attachment

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recurring in steady succession

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