at·​tach·​ment | \ə-ˈtach-mənt \
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

Pai's letter to Wyden and Schatz included an attachment in which then-FCC CIO David Bray responded directly to the senators' questions. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "FCC lied to Congress about made-up DDoS attack, investigation found," 8 Aug. 2018 The initial infection typically came from malware included as an email attachment, sometimes presented as a lost hotel reservation or an SEC complaint. Russell Brandom, The Verge, "Ukrainian hackers arrested for stealing 15 million credit card records," 1 Aug. 2018 Officers arrested Lewis on an outstanding municipal attachment. Hanna Krueger,, "Man accused of raping friend while she slept: warrant," 24 May 2018 People crave a sense of being valued by others, feeling an attachment to a community, and that may be why so many Muslims hold on to Ramadan, even -- or maybe especially -- when tough times face the community. Omar Suleiman, CNN, "Why 80% of American Muslims fast during Ramadan. (It's not about the food.)," 10 May 2018 Artificial plants: Vacuum with an attachment or wipe down, depending on what they are made of. Joanne Kempinger Demski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Spring cleaning: A spotless, well-organized home is your reward," 4 May 2018 Ninety percent of data breaches, Hines said, don't come through a firewall, but because an untrained employee clicks on an attachment. William Thornton,, "You'll be hearing more about data breaches in Alabama," 20 Apr. 2018 Once an employee clicks on an attachment, which is often made to look like an invoice, the system gets infected., "Data breach hits Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor stores," 1 Apr. 2018 Trump used that letter, along with an attachment by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, as cover for firing Comey on May 9. Kia Makarechi, The Hive, "Trump Is Running out of People to Attack on the Russia Investigation," 16 June 2017

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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Last Updated

28 Nov 2018

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 \

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 \

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 \ verb

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Comments on attachment

What made you want to look up attachment? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a nest or breeding place

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