Meaning of DETACH in English

də̇ˈtach, dēˈ- transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-es )

Etymology: French détacher, from Old French destachier, from des- de- + -tachier (as in atachier to attach) — more at attach

1. : to separate especially from a larger mass and usually without violence or damage

detach a stamp from a sheet

— opposed to attach

2. : disengage , withdraw

detached himself from the embrace

3. : to separate from a parent organization for a special object or use

detach a ship from a fleet


disengage , abstract , prescind : detach stresses the fact of separation, parting, removal, or isolation; it is unlikely to suggest forcible action

I rose, and detaching the silver ornament from my cloak presented it to him — W.H.Hudson †1922

I brought my face close and aroused no sign of life. Then I reached up and slowly detached the butterfly from its resting place — William Beebe

disengage suggests an extricating or freeing of something involved, enmeshed, or entangled, literally or figuratively

gently disengaging himself from her enfolding arms — Charles Dickens

the taxi disengaged itself from the traffic — Dan Wickenden

psychology, also, was beginning to disengage itself from its dependence on general philosophy — A.N.Whitehead

abstract indicates a withdrawing, gathering, or separating out from a mass or body; it is used more often of intangibles than tangibles

I suspect that some of these early chapters will be abstracted from the autobiography and be reprinted again and again — Book-of-the-Month Club News

the Church of England, which might be supposed able to abstract the question from its worldly confusions, is of two minds also — Virginia Woolf

prescind indicates a separating or detaching mentally for purposes of consideration or philosophic analysis

can anyone forget the great and gentle Buddha who, prescinding from any belief in soul or self, gave to thousands of millions of people a code of conduct? — Times Literary Supplement

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.