from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The act or process of disconnecting or detaching; separation.
  • n. The state of being separate or detached.
  • n. Indifference to or remoteness from the concerns of others; aloofness: preserved a chilly detachment in his relations with the family.
  • n. Absence of prejudice or bias; disinterest: strove to maintain her professional detachment in the case.
  • n. The dispatch of a military unit, such as troops or ships, from a larger body for a special duty or mission.
  • n. The unit so dispatched.
  • n. A permanent unit, usually smaller than a platoon, organized for special duties.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The action of detaching; separation.
  • n. The state of being detached or disconnected; insulation.
  • n. Indifference to the concerns of others; aloofness.
  • n. Absence of bias; impartiality; objectivity.
  • n. The separation of a military unit from the main body for particular purpose or a special mission.
  • n. The unit so dispatched.
  • n. A permanent unit organized for special duties.
  • n. Any smaller portion of a main body separately employed.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of detaching or separating, or the state of being detached.
  • n. That which is detached; especially, a body of troops or part of a fleet sent from the main body on special service.
  • n. Abstraction from worldly objects; renunciation.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act of detaching, unfastening, or disconnecting.
  • n. The state of being detached or apart; in recent use, a state of separation or withdrawal from association or relation with something.
  • n. That which is detached; specifically, a body of troops selected or taken from the main army or body, and employed on some special service or expedition, or a number of ships taken from a fleet and sent on a separate service.
  • n. An order detaching an officer from duty at a given station.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. avoiding emotional involvement
  • n. the state of being isolated or detached
  • n. a small unit of troops of special composition
  • n. the act of releasing from an attachment or connection
  • n. coming apart


From French détachement (Wiktionary)


  • But there should be a certain detachment from the writer's own passions.

    Saul Bellow's widow on his life and letters: 'His gift was to love and be loved'

  • They're not criticizing him for attending the G-20 summit in France last week nor the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings - his predecessors attended the same gatherings - but they criticized what they called detachment from budget negotiations.

    The Seattle Times

  • Traditional models define successful mourning in terms of detachment from the loved one who has died; the ability to cut the strings of grief, and to step into the roles of mothers and fathers vacated by the dead.


  • Also, speaking as an adopted kid who knows many others, there is a common feeling of detachment from the people you love, and feelings of missing part of your identity.

    Tick Tock that Biological Clock - Feministing

  • The detachment is in the mountains far away from the civilised world.

    History of Stalag XVIII A

  • This detachment is not bad, but it should have the advantage of having as Camp

    Work Camp 11017 GW

  • I can't expect everyone to arrive at this same philosophical destination that I did on Monday, especially when they are not even on the same path; yet my "kill" experience on Monday really taught me a lot about our society and it's detachment from the "sobering realities", to say nothing of what it taught me about anti-hunters.

    The Ritual: After Death, Before Venison

  • Of course, IAAL, so maybe such detachment is in myÂgenes.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » 1. Science, Faith, and Not Ruling Out Possibilities

  • Pew found a growing detachment from the two major political parties, no ideological shift toward President Obama and the Democrats now in charge, less concern about social issues than in previous polls, and a rising wariness about the size and cost of government.

    Generations reshape gay marriage debate

  • Our rear detachment is doing everything they can to support the families during this difficult time while we continue to search with our Afghan and coalition partners.


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