attach to(redirected from attach themselves to)
1. To connect two things. In this usage, an item is mentioned between "attach" and "to." Can you please attach this button to my sweater? Please be sure to attach a cover page to your report.
2. To connect oneself to something. In this usage, a reflexive pronoun is used between "attach" and "to." Please be sure to attach yourself to your luggage at the airport.
3. To involve oneself with another person or group—often in an overbearing way. In this usage, a reflexive pronoun is used between "attach" and "to." I hope my little cousins don't try to come with us—they're always attaching themselves to me, and it's so annoying.
4. To involve oneself with another person or group. In this usage, a reflexive pronoun is used between "attach" and "to." I heard that Jon has attached himself to a new lady—is that true? Teddy has attached himself to the drama club this semester.
5. To have an emotional connection to someone or something. This usage always uses the form "attached." I really miss my ex-boyfriend at Christmastime—I guess I'm still attached to him after all. I'm pretty attached to the idea of a tropical vacation—I've even been picturing myself on the beach! I tried to give away my daughter's childhood teddy bear, but apparently she's still quite attached to it.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
attach oneself to someone
1. Fig. to become emotionally involved with someone. Fred seems to have attached himself to a much older woman, who has captured his attention. Somehow, Susan has attached herself emotionally to Tom, and she is distraught over his being away.
2. Fig. to follow after someone; to become a constant companion to someone. Andy's little brother attached himself to Andy and his friends—much to Andy's distress. John attached himself to his older brother and drove him crazy.
attach oneself to something
1. Lit. to connect or secure oneself to something. During the storm, Tony attached himself to the helm and proceeded to steer the boat. The caterpillar attached itself to a branch and began to spin its cocoon.
2. Fig. to choose to associate with a particular thing, group, or organization. Ron attached himself to a volleyball team that practices at the school. The manager attached himself to the luncheon club and became a regular fixture there.
attach to someone
Fig. [for blame, importance, guilt, fault, etc.] to become "fixed" onto someone or an organization. A lot of guilt attaches to Henry for his part in the plot. Most of the blame for the accident attaches to Roger.
attach to something
[for something] to be meant to fit onto or into something. This one attaches to this other one right at this point. This part should have attached to the back of the desk, but it didn't fit.
attached to someone or something
1. Lit. connected to someone or something. The patient has a tube attached to his arm. A little shelf is attached to the wall.
2. Fig. fond of someone or something. John is really attached to his old-fashioned ideas. I'm really attached to my longtime girlfriend.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. To fasten or secure something to something: The electrician attached the wires to the socket. The carpenter attached the knobs to the cabinet doors.
2. To adhere, belong, or relate to something: It is not a very difficult job, and not much responsibility attaches to it.
3. To affix or append something to something: I attached all of my receipts to my spending report.
4. To ascribe or assign some quality to something: Several ambassadors said they would walk out of the meeting, but our officials attached no significance to the threat.
5. To associate closely with someone or something: I quickly attached myself to the chess club when I started school.
6. To be bound emotionally to someone or something: I'm still attached to that old sweater I used to wear in high school.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.