AskDefine | Define attache

Dictionary Definition



1 a specialist assigned to the staff of a diplomatic mission
2 a shallow and rectangular briefcase [syn: attache case]

User Contributed Dictionary


Alternative spellings


  1. An official associated with an embassy.



  1. Form of First-person singular present subjunctive, attacher#French|attacher
  2. Form of Third-person singular present subjunctive, attacher#French|attacher
  3. Form of Second-person singular imperative, attacher#French|attacher

Extensive Definition

Attaché is a French word, meaning a person who is assigned ('attached') to the administrative staff of a higher placed person or another service or agency. Depending on custom, 'attaché' may be modified to correspond to the gender (e.g. 'attachée') or number (e.g. 'attachés'), as in French.
The most common use of the term is as a diplomatic rank, never employed (not even on a temporary basis) as mission chief, but under the authority of the Ambassador or other head of the diplomatic mission and often has special responsibilities or expertise, often specified by that field, such as: cultural attaché, press attaché, labor attaché, military/defense attaché (or more specific, e.g. naval attaché, air attaché), agricultural attaché and science attaché. In this usage, the original connotation was that the attaché was an officer (employee) of another service 'attached to,' for example, a diplomatic mission: e.g. the attaché retains a military commission despite being assigned to serve in an Embassy.
However the title is also used in other hierarchical administrations, e.g.:
  • in the Roman Curia.
  • in the ministries of the Belgian federal state, since 2005 replacing the term adjunct-adviseur (in Dutch) or conseiller-adjoint (in French), normally used for college graduates, one rank under the head of a competence section.
attache in Catalan: Agregat
attache in Czech: Přidělenec
attache in Danish: Attaché
attache in German: Attaché
attache in Estonian: Atašee
attache in Spanish: Agregado (diplomacia)
attache in Esperanto: Ataŝeo
attache in Croatian: Ataše
attache in Lithuanian: Atašė
attache in Polish: Attaché
attache in Russian: Атташе
attache in Slovenian: Ataše
attache in Serbo-Croatian: Ataše
attache in Swedish: Attaché
attache in Turkish: Ataşe
attache in Ukrainian: Аташе

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Admirable Crichton, adept, ambassador, ambassadress, apostolic delegate, artisan, artist, authority, career diplomat, chancellor, charge, commercial attache, connaisseur, connoisseur, consul, consul general, consular agent, consultant, cordon bleu, crack shot, craftsman, dead shot, diplomat, diplomatic, diplomatic agent, diplomatist, elder statesman, emissary, envoy, envoy extraordinary, experienced hand, expert, expert consultant, foreign service officer, graduate, handy man, internuncio, journeyman, legate, marksman, military attache, minister, minister plenipotentiary, minister resident, no slouch, nuncio, plenipotentiary, politician, pro, professional, professor, proficient, resident, savant, secretary of legation, shark, sharp, statesman, technical adviser, technician, vice-consul, vice-legate
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