Words related to detach


the usual form of Latin dis- in Old Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Provençal, and French. In Middle English, interchanging with dis- (which in a later period displaced it), hence such form as desarmen, desdein, deshonour, desparagen, deschargen, despisen, etc.

attach (v.)

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.)).

Meaning "to fasten, affix, connect," which probably is the original sense etymologically, is attested in English from c. 1400. Related: Attached; attaching.

detachable (adj.)

"capable of being separated," 1797; see detach + -able. Related: Detachability.

detachment (n.)

1660s, "action of detaching or disconnecting," from French détachement (17c.), from détacher (see detach). Meaning "that which is detached," especially "portion of a military force detailed for special service or purpose" is from 1670s. Sense of "spiritual separation from the world, aloofness from objects or circumstances" is from 1798.

semi-attached (adj.)

"partially or loosely united," by 1860, from semi- + past participle of detach (v.). Compare semi-detached.

semi-detached (adj.)

"partly united, partly attached," originally in reference to houses joined together by a party-wall but detached from other buildings, 1845, from semi- + past participle of detach (v.).

The "Detached House" bears its peculiar characteristic on its front; it stands alone, and nothing more can be said about it; but with the "semi-detached house" there is a subtle mystery, much to be marvelled at. Semi-detached! Have the party-walls between two houses shrunk, or is there a bridge connecting the two, as in Mr. Beckford's house in Landsdown Crescent, Bath? A semi-detached house may be a house with a field on one side and a bone-boiling factory on the other. Semi-detached may mean half-tumbling to pieces. I must inquire into it. ["Houses to Let," in Household Words, March 20, 1852]
staccato (adj.)

1724, from Italian staccato, literally "detached, disconnected," past participle of staccare "to detach," shortened form of distaccare "separate, detach," from French destacher, from Old French destachier "to detach" (see detach). As an adverb from 1844. Related: Staccatissimo.