de·​tach | \di-ˈtach, dē-\

Definition of detach 

transitive verb

1 : to separate especially from a larger mass and usually without violence or damage

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Other Words from detach

detachability \ -​ˌta-​chə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē \ noun
detachable \ -​ˈta-​chə-​bəl \ adjective
detachably \ -​blē \ adverb

Examples of detach in a Sentence

Detach the upper part of the form and return it with your payment. During the accident the trailer was detached from the car. The brush detaches from the vacuum cleaner for easy cleaning. It can be difficult to detach yourself from the chaos of the situation. She has been trying to detach herself from an abusive relationship.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Those who experience compassion fatigue have not succeeded in fully processing the reality of the kids [separated from their families] and cannot effectively detach themselves to function well. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "If the News Cycle Is Giving You Compassion Fatigue, Here's What You Can Do," 26 June 2018 When she’s done, the robot detaches and the cow wanders off. Sharon Fisher, The Seattle Times, "Idaho dairies invest in robotic milkers," 27 May 2018 The most common theories are that the feet detach from the bodies of people who have committed suicide or accidentally drowned. Aj Willingham, CNN, "5 things for May 15: Melania Trump, royal wedding, Gaza protests," 15 May 2018 His voice is detached and wry, not unlike a character from a story by Samuel Beckett. The Economist, "A startling debut novel from a South African poet," 14 June 2018 Islam calls upon the faithful to also try and detach from worldly pleasures and focus on one’s deeds, thoughts and actions. Washington Post, "A look at the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan," 17 May 2018 Islam calls upon the faithful to also try and detach from worldly pleasures and focus on one's deeds, thoughts and actions. Aya Batrawy, Fox News, "A look at the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan," 17 May 2018 In Kentucky, dramatic surveillance footage showed a truck swerving in a lane and plywood from the truck detaching and flying into the opposite lane in October, the Herald-Leader reported. Crystal Hill, miamiherald, "Trucker crashed into powerlines and blamed a bird. Then police watched the video. | Miami Herald," 2 May 2018 Daley told the outlet that her tires were coated in a layer of asphalt three inches thick, and that some had also detached and knocked off her mud guard. Jamie Ducharme, Time, "A Road in Australia 'Melted' and Destroyed Drivers' Tires," 5 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'detach.' 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 detach

1686, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for detach

French détacher, from Old French destachier, from des- de- + -tachier (as in atachier to attach)

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Statistics for detach

Last Updated

9 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for detach

The first known use of detach was in 1686

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More Definitions for detach



English Language Learners Definition of detach

: to separate (something) from something larger

: to separate (yourself) from someone or something


de·​tach | \di-ˈtach \
detached; detaching

Kids Definition of detach

: to separate from something else or from others especially for a purpose The hood detaches from the jacket.

Other Words from detach

detachable \ -​ə-​bəl \ adjective

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Comments on detach

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


playful or foolish behavior

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