Definition of detach in English:

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Pronunciation: /dɪˈtatʃ/


[with object]
1Disengage (something or part of something) and remove it: he detached the front lamp from its bracket figurative a willingness to detach comment from political allegiance
More example sentences
  • After her brief romance with Dudley, Elizabeth sought to detach her emotions from political considerations.
  • It would set the strategic direction of the NHS and is designed to detach the service from political interference.
  • Hall, who last featured for City on February 5, has now had the pot removed and stitches taken out after surgery detached a troublesome tendon in his heel.
unfasten, disconnect, disengage, part, separate, uncouple, remove, loose, loosen, untie, unhitch, undo, unhook, unbutton, unzip, free, sever, pull off, cut off, clip off, hack off, chop off, prune off, nip off, tear off, break off, strip off, disunite
rare disjoin
1.1 [no object] Be easily removable: the screen detaches from the keyboard
More example sentences
  • But in the course of playing out his spoof, Cervantes replaces the omniscience of the typical chivalric narrator with a pervasive uncertainty that detaches from the parody and becomes, in its own right, an aspect of the book.
  • Dr. Hecky said, ‘During these months the algae detaches from the bottom of the lakes, floats to the surface and is washed up onto beaches where it decomposes.’
  • If you're in any way a regular consumer of news media, you've probably got that condition where, when a word is repeated enough times, it sort of detaches from its meaning and just becomes a sound with no connotation.
2 (detach oneself from) Leave or separate oneself from (a group or place): a figure in brown detached itself from the shadows figurative the newspaper detached itself from the political parties
More example sentences
  • After his sudden death, it was found that a blood clot had detached itself from inside his knee and found its way into his lungs.
  • In Tibet, there is a separate designation for those who can detach themselves from their physical bodies.
  • The woman, in a wistful reverie, holds her hand round the cup while she waits for the tea to cool, relishing the warm china and the aromatic steam, which she watches as it detaches itself from the brim of the cup.
free, separate, segregate;
move away, walk away, move off, split off;
leave, abandon
dissociate, divorce, alienate, separate, segregate, isolate, cut off, delink;
break away, become estranged, disaffiliate, defect;
leave, quit, withdraw from, secede from, break with, part company with, sever connections with, break off relations with;
reach a parting of the ways
British informal bust up
2.1 (be detached) Military (Of a group of soldiers or ships) be sent on a separate mission: our crew were detached to Tabuk for the exercise
More example sentences
  • The square was then modified so that an element could be detached, marched to be adjacent to the enemy, and the enemy flanked.
  • While in France, the 442nd was detached from the 34th Division and attached to the 36th Division of the Seventh Army.
  • Yamamoto's Midway Force had also detached a powerful Aleutian Screening Force to act as distant cover for Kakuta but this was withdrawn when the battle off Midway failed to go Yamamoto's way.


Late 16th century (in the sense 'discharge a gun'): from French détacher, earlier destacher, from des- (expressing reversal) + attacher 'attach'.

Words that rhyme with detach

attach, batch, catch, crosshatch, hatch, latch, match, mismatch, natch, outmatch, patch, scratch, thatch

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: de¦tach

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