1. The act of attaching or the condition of being attached.
2. Something, such as a tie, band, or fastener, that attaches one thing to another.
3. An emotional bond, as of affection or loyalty; fond regard.
a. A supplementary part; an accessory: bought a vacuum cleaner with several attachments.
b. A supplementary document that is attached to a primary document: stapled two attachments to the memorandum.
c. A file that is attached to an email.
a. Legal seizure of property.
b. The writ ordering such a seizure.
Synonyms: attachment, accessory, appurtenance, adjunct, appendage
These nouns denote subordinate elements added to or associated with another entity. An attachment is a distinct unit or part that adds a function to the thing to which it is connected: The food processor has an attachment for kneading dough.
An accessory is a nonessential but desirable extra: Our new car has such accessories as a GPS system and a sunroof.
An appurtenance is an item that belongs naturally although not integrally to something else: "an internationally known first-class hotel ... equipped with such appurtenances as computers, word processors, copiers and telex" (Oscar Millard).
An adjunct is a separate entity that is auxiliary or supplementary to something more basic: "Periodic short-term fasting may also be a beneficial adjunct to an anti-aging regime" (James Marti).
An appendage is a usually fixed part extending from a main body or structure: "The complete absence of appendages at the stern decreases hull resistance" (R.J.L. Dicker).
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.