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[a-ta-shey, at-uh- or, esp. British, uh-tash-ey] /æ tæˈʃeɪ, ˌæt ə- or, esp. British, əˈtæʃ eɪ/
a diplomatic official attached to an embassy or legation, especially in a technical capacity:
a commercial attaché; a cultural attaché.
a military officer who is assigned to a diplomatic post in a foreign country in order to gather military information:
an air attaché; an army attaché; a naval attaché.
Also, attache. attaché case.
Origin of attaché
1825-35; < French: literally, attached, past participle of attacher to attach
Can be confused
attach, attaché. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for attache


/əˈtæʃeɪ; French ataʃe/
a specialist attached to a diplomatic mission: military attaché
(Brit) a junior member of the staff of an embassy or legation
Word Origin
C19: from French: someone attached (to a mission), from attacher to attach
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 attache

1835, from French attaché "junior officer attached to the staff of an ambassador, etc.," literally "attached," past participle of attacher "to attach" (see attach). Attache case "small leather case for carrying papers" first recorded 1900.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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attache in Culture
attaché [(a-ta-shay, at-uh-shay)]

A diplomatic officer attached to an embassy or consulate. Most attachés have specialties, such as military attachés, cultural attachés, economic attachés, and so forth.

Note: Some nations disguise spies as attachés.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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