adjective de·tached \ di-ˈtacht , dē- \
|Updated on: 18 Aug 2018

Definition of detached

1 : standing by itself : separate, unconnected; especially : not sharing any wall with another building
  • a house with a detached garage
2 : exhibiting an aloof objectivity usually free from prejudice or self-interest
  • a detached observer


play \-ˈta-chəd-lē, -ˈtacht-lē\ adverb


play \-ˈta-chəd-nəs, -ˈtacht-nəs\ noun

Examples of detached in a Sentence

  1. The house has a detached garage.

  2. a detached observer at company parties, taking it all in and saying very little

Recent Examples of detached from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of detached

see detach

Synonym Discussion of detached

indifferent, unconcerned, incurious, aloof, detached, disinterested mean not showing or feeling interest. indifferent implies neutrality of attitude from lack of inclination, preference, or prejudice.
    • indifferent to the dictates of fashion
unconcerned suggests a lack of sensitivity or regard for others' needs or troubles.
    • unconcerned about the homeless
incurious implies an inability to take a normal interest due to dullness of mind or to self-centeredness.
    • incurious about the world
aloof suggests a cool reserve arising from a sense of superiority or disdain for inferiors or from shyness.
    • aloof from his coworkers
detached implies an objective attitude achieved through absence of prejudice or selfishness.
    • observed family gatherings with detached amusement
disinterested implies a circumstantial freedom from concern for personal or especially financial advantage that enables one to judge or advise without bias.
    • judged by a panel of disinterested observers

DETACHED Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of detached for English Language Learners

  • : not emotional : not influenced by emotions or personal interest

  • : not joined or connected : separate from another part or thing

DETACHED Defined for Kids


adjective de·tached \ di-ˈtacht \

Definition of detached for Students

1 : not joined or connected : separate
  • a detached garage
2 : not taking sides or being influenced by others
  • They wanted the opinion of a detached judge.

Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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


fullness to the point of excess

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet-pasta-spelling-help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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