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Wordnet 3.0

NOUN (7)

1. a feeling of affection for a person or an institution;
[syn: attachment, fond regard]

2. a supplementary part or accessory;

3. a writ authorizing the seizure of property that may be needed for the payment of a judgment in a judicial proceeding;

4. a connection that fastens things together;
[syn: attachment, bond]

5. faithful support for a cause or political party or religion;
- Example: "attachment to a formal agenda"
- Example: "adherence to a fat-free diet"
- Example: "the adhesion of Seville was decisive"
[syn: attachment, adherence, adhesion]

6. the act of attaching or affixing something;
[syn: attachment, affixation]

7. the act of fastening things together;
[syn: fastening, attachment]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Attachment \At*tach"ment\, n. [F. attachment.] 1. The act attaching, or state of being attached; close adherence or affection; fidelity; regard; an? passion of affection that binds a person; as, an attachment to a friend, or to a party. [1913 Webster] 2. That by which one thing is attached to another; connection; as, to cut the attachments of a muscle. [1913 Webster] The human mind . . . has exhausted its forces in the endeavor to rend the supernatural from its attachment to this history. --I. Taylor. [1913 Webster] 3. Something attached; some adjunct attached to an instrument, machine, or other object; as, a sewing machine attachment (i. e., a device attached to a sewing machine to enable it to do special work, as tucking, etc.). [1913 Webster] 4. (Giv. Law) (a) A seizure or taking into custody by virtue of a legal process. (b) The writ or percept commanding such seizure or taking. [1913 Webster] Note: The term is applied to a seizure or taking either of persons or property. In the serving of process in a civil suit, it is most generally applied to the taking of property, whether at common law, as a species of distress, to compel defendant's appearance, or under local statutes, to satisfy the judgment the plaintiff may recover in the action. The terms attachment and arrest are both applied to the taking or apprehension of a defendant to compel an appearance in a civil action. Attachments are issued at common law and in chancery, against persons for contempt of court. In England, attachment is employed in some cases where capias is with us, as against a witness who fails to appear on summons. In some of the New England States a writ of attachment is a species of mesne process upon which the property of a defendant may be seized at the commencement of a suit and before summons to him, and may be held to satisfy the judgment the plaintiff may recover. In other States this writ can issue only against absconding debtors and those who conceal themselves. See Foreign, Garnishment, Trustee process. --Bouvier. --Burrill. --Blackstone. [1913 Webster] Syn: Attachment, Affection. Usage: The leading idea of affection is that of warmth and tenderness; the leading idea of attachment is that of being bound to some object by strong and lasting ties. There is more of sentiment (and sometimes of romance) in affection, and more of principle in preserving attachment. We speak of the ardor of the one, and the fidelity of the other. There is another distinction in the use and application of these words. The term attachment is applied to a wider range of objects than affection. A man may have a strong attachment to his country, to his profession, to his principles, and even to favorite places; in respect to none of these could we use the word affection. [1913 Webster]
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):

attachment n 1: a feeling of affection for a person or an institution [syn: attachment, fond regard] 2: a supplementary part or accessory 3: a writ authorizing the seizure of property that may be needed for the payment of a judgment in a judicial proceeding 4: a connection that fastens things together [syn: attachment, bond] 5: faithful support for a cause or political party or religion; "attachment to a formal agenda"; "adherence to a fat-free diet"; "the adhesion of Seville was decisive" [syn: attachment, adherence, adhesion] 6: the act of attaching or affixing something [syn: attachment, affixation] 7: the act of fastening things together [syn: fastening, attachment]
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:

202 Moby Thesaurus words for "attachment": Amor, Christian love, Eros, Platonic love, accession, accessory, accompaniment, accounting for, addenda, addendum, additament, addition, additive, additory, additum, adherence, adhesion, adhesive, adjunct, adjunction, adjuvant, admiration, adoration, affection, affinity, affixation, affixing, agape, agglutination, allegiance, angary, annex, annexation, annexure, answerability, appanage, appendage, appendant, appliance, application, appurtenance, appurtenant, ardency, ardor, arrogation, ascription, assignation, assignment, attaching, attribution, augment, augmentation, binding, blame, bodily love, bona fides, bond, bonne foi, brotherly love, caritas, charge, charity, clasping, coda, collectivization, commandeering, communalization, communization, complement, concomitant, confiscation, conjugal love, connection, connection with, constancy, continuation, corollary, credit, decoration, derivation from, desire, device, devotedness, devotion, distraint, distress, eminent domain, etiology, execution, expropriation, extension, extra, extrapolation, faith, faithful love, faithfulness, fancy, fastener, fastening, fealty, fervor, fidelity, firmness, fixing, fixture, flame, fondness, free love, free-lovism, friendliness, friendship, gadget, garnishment, girding, good faith, heart, hero worship, homage, honor, hooking, idolatry, idolism, idolization, impoundment, impressment, imputation, increase, increment, joining, junction, juxtaposition, knot, lasciviousness, lashing, levy, libido, ligation, like, liking, link, linking, love, lovemaking, loyalty, married love, nationalization, offshoot, ornament, palaetiology, part, partiality, passion, pendant, physical love, piety, placement, popular regard, popularity, prefixation, reference to, regard, reinforcement, responsibility, right of angary, saddling, sentiment, sequestration, sex, sexual love, shine, side effect, side issue, socialization, spiritual love, splice, staunchness, steadfastness, sticking, suffixation, superaddition, superfetation, superjunction, superposition, supplement, supplementation, tailpiece, tender feeling, tender passion, tenderness, tie, tieing, troth, true blue, truelove, trueness, undergirding, uniting, uxoriousness, weakness, worship, yearning, zipping
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):

ATTACHMENT, crim. law, practice. A writ requiring a sheriff to apprehend a particular person, who has been guilty of. a contempt of court, and to bring the offender before the court. Tidd's Pr. Index, h.t.; Grab. Pr. 555. 2. It may be awarded by the court upon a bare suggestion, though generally an oath stating what contempt has been committed is required, or on their own knowledge without indictment or information. An attachment may be issued against officers of the court for disobedience or contempt of their rules and orders, for disobedience of their process, and for disturbing them in their lawful proceedings. Bac. Ab. h.t. A. in the nature of a civil execution, and it was therefore held it could not be executed on Sunday; 1 T. R. 266; Cowper, 394; Willes, R. 292, note (b); yet, in. one case, it was decided, that it was so far criminal, that it could not be granted in England on the affirmation of a Quaker. Stra. 441. See 5 Halst. 63; 1 Cowen, 121, note; Bac. Ab. h.t.
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):

ATTACHMENT, remedies. A writ issued by a court of competent jurisdiction, commanding the sheriff or other proper officer to seize any property; credit, or right, belonging to the defendant, in whatever hands the same may be found, to satisfy the demand which the plaintiff has against him. 2. This writ always issues before judgment, and is intended to compel an appearance in this respect it differs from an execution. In some of the states this process can be issued only against absconding debtors, or those who conceal themselves; in others it is issued in the first instance, so that the property attached may respond to the exigency of the writ, and satisfy the judgment. 3. There are two kinds of attachment in Pennsylvania, the foreign attachment, and the domestic attachment. l. The foreign attachment is a mode of proceeding by a creditor against the property of his debtor, when the debtor is out of the jurisdiction of the state, and is not an inhabitant of the same. The object of this process is in the first instance to compel an appearance by the debtor, although his property may even eventually be made liable to the amount of the plaintiff Is claim. It will be proper to consider, 1. by whom it be issued; 2. against what property 3. mode of proceeding. 1. The plaintiff must be a creditor of the defendant; the claim of the plaintiff need not, however, be technically a debt, but it may be such on which an action of assumpsit would lie but an attachment will not lie for a demand which arises ex delicto; or when special bail would not be regularly required. Serg. on Att. 51. 2. The writ of attachment may be issued against the real and personal estate of any person not residing within the commonwealth, and not being within the county in which such writ may issue, at the time. of the issuing thereof. And proceedings may be had against persons convicted of crime, and sentenced to imprisonment. 3. The writ of attachment is in general terms, not specifying in the body of it the name of the garnishee, or the property to be attached, but commanding the officer to attach the defendant, by all and singular his goods and chattels, in whose hands or possession soever the same may be found in his bailiwick, so that he be and appear before the court at a certain time to answer, &c. The foreign attachment is issued solely for the benefit of the plaintiff. 4.-2. The domestic attachment is issued by the court of common pleas of the county in which any debtor, being an inhabitant of the commonwealth, may reside; if such debtor shall have absconded from the place of his usual abode within the same, or shall have remained absent from the commonwealth, or shall have confined himself to his own house, or concealed himself elsewhere, with a design, in either case, to defraud his creditors. It is issued on an oath or affirmation, previously made by a creditor of such person, or by some one on his behalf, of the truth of his debt, and of the facts upon which the attachment may be founded. Any other creditor of such person, upon affidavit of his debt as aforesaid, may suggest his name upon the record, and thereupon such creditor may proceed to prosecute his said writ, if the person suing the same shall refuse or neglect to proceed thereon, or if he fail to establish his right to prosecute the same, as a creditor of the defendant. The property attached is vested in trustees to be appointed by the court, who are, after giving six months public notice of their appointment, to distribute the assets attached among the creditors under certain regulations prescribed by the act of assembly. Perishable goods way be sold under an order of the court, both under a foreign and domestic attachment. Vide Serg. on Attachments Whart. Dig. title Attachment. 5. By the code of practice of Louisiana, an attachment in the hands of third person is declared to be a mandate which a creditor obtains from a competent officer, commanding the seizure of any property, credit or right, belonging to his debtor, in whatever hands they may be found, to satisfy the demand which he intends to bring against him. A creditor may obtain such attachment of the property of his debtor, in the following cases. 1. When such debtor is about permanently leaving the state, without there being a possibility, in the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, of obtaining or executing judgment against him previous to, his departure; or when such debtor has already left the state never again to return. 2. When such debtor resides out of the state. 3. When he conceals himself to avoid being cited or forced to answer to the suit intended to be brought against him. Articles 239, 240. 6. By the local laws of some of the New England states, and particularly of the states of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine, personal property and real estate may be attached upon mesne process to respond the exigency of the writ, and satisfy the judgment. In such cases it is the common practice for the officer to bail the goods attached, to some person, who is usually a friend of the debtor, upon an express or implied agreement on his part, to have them forthcoming on demand, or in time to respond the judgment, when the execution thereon shall be issued. Story on Bailm. Sec. 124. As to the rights and duties of the officer or bailor in such cases, and as to the rights and duties of the bailee, who is commonly called the receiptor, see 2 Mass. 514; 9 Mass. 112 11 Mass. 211; 6 Johns. R. 195 9 Mass. 104, 265; 10 Mass. 125 15 Mass. 310; 1 Pick. R. 232, 389. See Metc. & Perk. Dig. tit. Absent and Absconding Debtors.