de·​tach·​ment | \ di-ˈtach-mənt How to pronounce detachment (audio) , dē- \

Definition of detachment

1 : the action or process of detaching : separation
2a : the dispatch of a body of troops or part of a fleet from the main body for a special mission or service
b : the part so dispatched
c : a permanently organized separate unit usually smaller than a platoon and of special composition
3a : indifference to worldly concerns : aloofness
b : freedom from bias or prejudice

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Examples of detachment in a Sentence

I wish the article had approached the issue with a bit more detachment. The form is perforated to make detachment of the bottom section easier. A detachment of soldiers was called to assist the police.
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Recent Examples on the Web Yet the current crisis has cast this divine detachment in even starker light than usual. The Economist, "Banyan India’s bureaucrats are fighting covid-19 with red tape," 13 June 2020 Journalists have long covered protests with some detachment. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Rethinking the Press’s Relationship with Police," 5 June 2020 Search Party now fully embraces Dory’s sociopathic nature, and Shawkat brings a chilling element of detachment to her character’s burgeoning confidence. Kristen Baldwin,, "Search Party season 3 puts the truth on trial: Review," 4 June 2020 Finally, in an effort to conform charter language with the State of Ohio, the commission proposed the removal of language regarding a vote on detachment of territory. John Benson, cleveland, "North Olmsted Charter Review Commission recommends five amendments for fall ballot," 3 June 2020 In fact, a small French detachment routed a much larger Mexican force two weeks later, during the French withdrawal. Dan Mclaughlin, National Review, "The Real History of Cinco de Mayo," 5 May 2020 Most obituary writers and editors will agree that standard professional detachment is the first line of defense when death is your beat. Daniel J. Wakin, New York Times, "Faces That Can’t Be Forgotten," 16 Apr. 2020 Gabriel Conroy, the Morkans’ intellectual nephew, feels torn between straightforward goodwill and a snobbish detachment from his family, Christmas jollity and Ireland itself. The Economist, "Few tidings of comfort and joy Forget “A Christmas Carol”—“The Dead” is the greatest Christmas story," 2 Dec. 2019 Palmason, the director (and writer), conveys obsession with affinity but also detachment. Glenn Kenny, New York Times, "‘A White, White Day’ Review: Confronting Grief in a Frozen Landscape," 16 Apr. 2020

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

1669, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for detachment

Time Traveler

The first known use of detachment was in 1669

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Statistics for detachment

Last Updated

20 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Detachment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for detachment


How to pronounce detachment (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of detachment

: lack of emotion or of personal interest
: the act or process of separating something from a larger thing
: a condition in which something has become separated from something else


de·​tach·​ment | \ di-ˈtach-mənt How to pronounce detachment (audio) \

Kids Definition of detachment

2 : the sending out of a body of troops or ships on a special duty
3 : a small unit of troops or ships sent out for a special duty
4 : lack of interest in worldly concerns He maintained an air of cool detachment.
5 : freedom from the favoring of one side over another He judged the dispute with detachment.

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