I ask this because it's underlined in red in most word processors (even here). Example sentence:

Unattaching my ear from the door, I slipped into the elevator and punched the button to the first floor.

If this is the case, what other word can I use?

  • 1
    It is formed like other words, and so, depending on your context, it could be an acceptable coinage. We would normally say removing.
    – TimR
    May 12, 2017 at 11:52
  • Yeh, I'd either say Removing my ear from the door or Taking my ear off the door May 12, 2017 at 11:53

1 Answer 1


Unattaching is not a valid English word, and similarly there is no verb "to unattach".

There are several words to use here - two examples being "detaching" or "removing".

There is however the adjective "unattached" which is in standard usage. "unattached" is a synonym for "detached" (though there are some very fine differences between the words, as with most synonyms)

  • Detach isn't a good choice either. How can you detach you own ear from the door? May 12, 2017 at 11:50
  • I guess the OP's sentence is just an example, and the real use is something in programming, perhaps. In that case, detach would be perfect. (For the ear and the door, remove is the verb, as @Tᴚoɯɐuo said in his comment.) May 12, 2017 at 11:52
  • It might not be the perfect choice of word, but it certainly makes sense metaphorically. If my ear is attached to the door while trying to hear what is being said inside, then I naturally detach it.
    – David Hall
    May 12, 2017 at 11:53
  • I've just edited after seeing the suggestion of removing, since that is a good (and likely better) alternative option.
    – David Hall
    May 12, 2017 at 11:55

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