tr.v. de·tached, de·tach·ing, de·tach·es
1. To separate or unfasten; disconnect: detach a check from the checkbook; detach burs from one's coat.
2. To remove from association or union with something: detach a calf from its mother; detached herself from the group.
3. To send (troops or ships, for example) on a special mission.
[French détacher, from Old French destachier : des-, de- + attachier, to attach; see ATTACH.]
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.