- a device for holding a door, gate, or the like, closed, consisting basically of a bar falling or sliding into a catch, groove, hole, etc.
- to close or fasten with a latch.
- to close tightly so that the latch is secured: The door won't latch.
- latch on,
- to grab or hold on, as to an object or idea, especially tightly or tenaciously.
- to include or add in; attach: If we latch the tax on, the bill will come to over $100.
- latch onto, Informal.
- to take possession of; obtain; get.
- to acquire understanding of; comprehend.
- to attach oneself to; join in with: The stray dog latched onto the children and wouldn't go home.
Origin of latch
- a fastening for a gate or door that consists of a bar that may be slid or lowered into a groove, hole, etc
- a spring-loaded door lock that can be opened by a key from outside
- Also called: latch circuit electronics a logic circuit that transfers the input states to the output states when signalled, the output thereafter remaining insensitive to changes in input status until signalled again
- to fasten, fit, or be fitted with or as if with a latch
Word Origin and History for latch onto
Old English læccan "to grasp or seize," from Proto-Germanic *lakkijanan. Not found in other Germanic languages; probably from PIE *(s)lagw- "to seize" (see analemma). In its original sense the verb was paralleled in Middle English and then replaced by French import catch (v.). Meaning "to fasten with a latch" is mid-15c. Related: Latched; latching.
a fastening for a door, etc., late 13c., probably from latch (v.).
Idioms and Phrases with latch onto
Also, latch on to.
Get hold of, grasp; also, understand, grasp mentally. For example, They latched onto a fortune in the fur trade, or Carol quickly latched on to how the sewing machine works. [c. 1930]
Attach oneself to, join in with, as in Rob didn't know the way so he latched on to one of the older children. [c. 1930]