Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?
c.1400, "arrest of a person on judicial warrant" (mid-13c. in Anglo-Latin), from French attachement, from attacher (see attach). Application to property (including, later, wages) dates from 1590s; meaning "sympathy, devotion" is recorded from 1704; that of "something that is attached to something else" dates from 1797 and has become perhaps the most common use since the rise of e-mail.
in U.S. law, a writ issuing from a court of law to seize the person or property of a defendant. In several of the older states in the United States, attachments against property are issued at the commencement of suits in order to secure any judgment that may be entered for the plaintiff. In other states, attachments before a judgment are issued only against the property of nonresidents or upon specific statutory grounds relating to fraud or the like. In such cases, the plaintiff is commonly required to post an indemnity bond. An attachment may also be issued after a judgment, the term frequently being used to designate a levy upon a bank account, wages, or other intangible assets of the debtor. See also garnishment.