de·​tach·​ment | \di-ˈtach-mənt, 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

Are objectivity and detachment the only routes to scientific validity? WSJ, "Notable & Quotable: Doubting Objectivity," 12 Sep. 2018 And some, like South Park and Family Guy, manage to evade much notice of just how out of time their comedy can feel because their animated trappings allow for some degree of detachment and distance. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "Alt-right internet mobs are attacking celebrities with their own jokes. The irony is stark.," 27 July 2018 Over time, that can lead to retinal detachment and blindness, similar to the neovascular glaucoma commonly associated with diabetes. Bob Curley, Fox News, "'Glow' in child's picture may be sign of serious eye disease," 9 June 2018 Photo: Library of Congress In March, a detachment of Royal Scots along the Dvina River ignored orders to travel through deep snow to burn a nearby village. Michael M. Phillips, WSJ, "The One Time American Troops Fought Russians Was at the End of World War I—and They Lost," 9 Nov. 2018 How about the shift, over four sinuous sentences, from detachment to intimacy, as the narrator reveals his relationship to the Smiths? Justin Taylor, New York Times, "Stories Filled With Strivers, Schemers and Adventurers," 10 Apr. 2018 In Europe, detachments of U.S. warplanes are operating throughout the Baltic region, sending a reassuring message to American allies—and a warning to Russia. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Why These 3 U.S. Warplanes Are Gathering on Russia's Doorstep," 13 May 2015 There are no Chinese visa checks, no officious border guards or customs officials, only a detachment of the People’s Armed Police, a paramilitary force entrusted with watching out for Islamic-looking dress near the stripes on the road. Andrew Higgins, New York Times, "A Visa-Free Zone Welcomes Your Wallet. But Maybe Not Your Beard.," 8 Jan. 2018 Its removable doors gain a handhold for easier one-person detachment. Tom Voelk, New York Times, "26 Vehicles Played in the Mud. Here’s the Dirt.," 12 July 2018

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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Statistics for detachment

Last Updated

10 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for detachment

The first known use of detachment was in 1669

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More Definitions for detachment



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 \

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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Comments on detachment

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a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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