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[lach-string] /ˈlætʃˌstrɪŋ/
a string passed through a hole in a door, for raising the latch from the outside.
Origin of latchstring
First recorded in 1785-95; latch + string Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for latchstring
Historical Examples
  • As he closed it he did an unprecedented thing,he drew in the latchstring.

  • It goes often to the home where the latchstring hangs on the outside.

    Laugh and Live Douglas Fairbanks
  • Perhaps the reader has heard before this of having the latchstring out, but has not known just what the phrase meant.

    Stories Of Ohio William Dean Howells
  • Now callers upon the Hamlins, in general, just pulled the latchstring and came in.

    The Duke of Stockbridge Edward Bellamy
  • He twitched the latchstring, the door being so balanced on its hinges that it swung inward of itself.

    The Boy Patrol on Guard Edward S. Ellis
  • And the day cannot be delayed much longer now when every child shall find the latchstring out on the school door.

    The Battle with the Slum Jacob A. Riis.
  • The latchstring is always out in camp; and never does an appeal for help go disregarded.

    At Whispering Pine Lodge Lawrence J. Leslie
  • At this point, the conversation was abruptly broken off by the noise of the latchstring being pulled.

    The Duke of Stockbridge Edward Bellamy
  • He had sat thus for some time when he was roused by the twitching of the latchstring.

  • He fumbled for the latchstring, and pulling it carelessly, the door flew open suddenly, and he almost fell into the room.

    The Young Mountaineers Charles Egbert Craddock
British Dictionary definitions for latchstring


a length of string fastened to a latch and passed through a hole in the door so that it can be opened from the other side
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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