mid-14c. (mid-13c. in Anglo-Latin), "to take or seize (property or goods) by law," a legal term, from Old French atachier "fasten; arrest" (11c.), earlier estachier "to attach, fix; stake up, support" (Modern French attacher, also compare Italian attaccare), from a- "to" (see ad-) + a base also found in detach, perhaps from Frankish *stakon "a post, stake" or a similar Germanic word, from Proto-Germanic *stakon- "a stake," from PIE root *steg- (1) "pole, stick" (see stake (n.)).
The meaning "fasten, affix, connect," which probably is the original sense etymologically, is attested in English from c. 1400. Related: Attached; attaching.
updated on September 28, 2022
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