9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[uh-tach] /əˈtætʃ/
verb (used with object)
to fasten or affix; join; connect:
to attach a photograph to an application with a staple.
to join in action or function; make part of:
to attach oneself to a group.
Military. to place on temporary duty with or in assistance to a military unit.
to include as a quality or condition of something:
One proviso is attached to this legacy.
to assign or attribute:
to attach significance to a gesture.
to bind by ties of affection or regard:
You always attach yourself to people who end up hurting you.
Law. to take (persons or property) by legal authority.
Obsolete. to lay hold of; seize.
verb (used without object)
to adhere; pertain; belong (usually followed by to or upon):
No blame attaches to him.
Origin of attach
1300-50; Middle English atachen < Anglo-French atacher to seize, Old French atachier to fasten, alteration of estachier to fasten with or to a stake, equivalent to estach(e) (< Germanic *stakka stake1) + -ier infinitive suffix
Related forms
attachable, adjective
attacher, noun
reattach, verb
reattachable, adjective
unattachable, adjective
Can be confused
attach, attaché.
1. subjoin, append, add, annex.
1. detach. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for attach
  • To create a similar effect, attach pieces of paper to the wall with wallpaper paste, then varnish the whole thing.
  • attach these to the legs using two screws at each joint.
  • attach the rubber ends to the two support of your luggage handle, and voilà, a coffee-holder.
  • Cut stars out of another sheet of white paper and attach them to the blue paper with rubber cement.
  • It may seem innocuous to attach chips to our preschoolers' clothes.
  • Sum up your qualifications, attach a resume, and ask that they keep you mind if they need staff.
  • Such antibodies recognise and attach themselves to these molecules, rendering them harmless.
  • Diapsids' skulls all have two holes, called temporal fenestrae, which carry muscles that attach to the jaws.
  • When you attach pieces in some ways, they hold in place.
  • The easiest method for installing a ceiling fan is to attach it in place of an existing ceiling light.
British Dictionary definitions for attach


verb (mainly transitive)
to join, fasten, or connect
(reflexive or passive) to become associated with or join, as in a business or other venture: he attached himself to the expedition
(intransitive) foll by to. to be inherent (in) or connected (with): responsibility attaches to the job
to attribute or ascribe: to attach importance to an event
to include or append, esp as a condition: a proviso is attached to the contract
(usually passive) (military) to place on temporary duty with another unit
(usually passive) to put (a member of an organization) to work in a different unit or agency, either with an expectation of reverting to, or while retaining some part of, the original working arrangement
to appoint officially
(law) to arrest or take (a person, property, etc) with lawful authority
(obsolete) to seize
Derived Forms
attachable, adjective
attacher, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French atachier to fasten, changed from estachier to fasten with a stake, from estachestake1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for attach

mid-14c. (mid-13c. in Anglo-Latin), "to take or seize (property or goods) by law," a legal term, from Old French atachier (11c.), earlier estachier "to attach, fix; stake up, support" (Modern French attacher, also cf. Italian attaccare), perhaps from a- "to" + Frankish *stakon "a post, stake" or a similar Germanic word (see stake (n.)). Meaning "to fasten, affix, connect" is from c.1400. Related: Attached; attaching.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with attach


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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