Meaning of “attachment” in the English Dictionary

"attachment" in British English

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uk /əˈtætʃ.mənt/ us /əˈtætʃ.mənt/

attachment noun (PART)

B2 [ C ] an extra piece of equipment that can be added to a machine:

This food processor has a special attachment for grinding coffee.

More examples

  • Many British homes have a shower attachment fixed to the bath taps.
  • This little attachment allows you take photographs using your mobile phone.
  • The hairdryer comes with a special attachment which enables you to dry your hair gently.
  • This attachment makes it easier to vacuum stairs.
  • You can buy an attachment that turns your drill into a screwdriver.

attachment noun (COMPUTING)

B2 [ C ] a computer file that is sent together with an email message:

I'll email my report to you as an attachment.
I wasn't able to open that attachment.

More examples

  • The paperclip symbol next to the email's subject line shows that there is an attachment.
  • If it's possible that the attachment might be infected, don't open it, just delete it.
  • I'll send you the full document as an attachment.
  • Her email has several attachments that you should look at.
  • Clicking on this button allows you to make attachments to your email.

attachment noun (FEELING OF LOVE)

C2 [ C or U ] a feeling of love or strong connection to someone or something:

At university I formed a strong attachment to one of my tutors.
She is unlikely to give up her lifelong attachment to feminist ideas.

specialized psychology [ C or U ] a feeling of love and need for another person, for example for a mother by her child:

Secure attachment is believed to be important for healthy development.
Infants can form attachments to any caregiver.

(Definition of “attachment” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"attachment" in American English

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attachmentnoun [ C/U ]

us /əˈtætʃ·mənt/

a strong feeling of being emotionally close to someone or something:

[ C ] She had a special attachment to these students.

An attachment is an extra piece of equipment that can be added to a machine:

[ C ] computer attachments

(Definition of “attachment” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"attachment" in Business English

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uk /əˈtætʃmənt/ us

[ C ] IT, COMMUNICATIONS, INTERNET a computer file that is sent together with an email:

Do not click on an email attachment unless it is from a reliable source.

[ C ] LAW a document joined to an agreement which gives extra details, often a list of things that are allowed or not, and forms part of the agreement

[ C ] IT a small piece of equipment that you can attach to a computer, machine, etc. to do a particular task:

A simple attachment allows pictures to be emailed directly from the camera.

[ C or U ] HR the act of working in a department or company temporarily for a particular purpose:

Five students are on attachment to the Finance Department.

[ C or U ] LAW a court order for money or property to be taken from someone in order to pay their debts:

An application for an attachment of debt must be made to a court.
attachment of earnings

[ C or U ] LAW a court order that makes employers pay the court some of the money you earn directly so that your debts can be paid over a period:

The court issued him with an attachment of earnings order to repay his creditors over a period of 18 months.

(Definition of “attachment” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)