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attache

An attaché is a thin briefcase used for carrying papers. It is sometimes called an attaché case. You may notice that in spy movies, an attaché is often swapped out by the bad guy, and then the good guy spends the rest of the movie trying to get it back.

Attaché comes from the French attacher, which literally means "attached," and it was first applied to someone working for a diplomat, such as a junior officer. Now an attaché is a technical expert assigned to the staff of a diplomatic mission. If you are an expert on the customs of a certain country, you may be asked to be a cultural attaché and advice the ambassador for that country.

Definitions of attache
  1. noun
    a specialist assigned to the staff of a diplomatic mission
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    types:
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    cultural attache
    an attache who is a specialist in cultural matters
    military attache
    an attache who is a specialist in military matters
    air attache
    a military attache who is a commissioned or warrant officer in an air force
    army attache
    a military attache who is a commissioned or warrant officer in an army
    naval attache
    a military attache who is a commissioned or warrant officer in a navy
    type of:
    specialiser, specialist, specializer
    an expert who is devoted to one occupation or branch of learning
  2. noun
    a shallow and rectangular briefcase
    synonyms: attache case
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    type of:
    briefcase
    a case with a handle; for carrying papers or files or books
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