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latch

[lach]
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noun
  1. 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.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to close or fasten with a latch.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to close tightly so that the latch is secured: The door won't latch.
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Verb Phrases
  1. latch on,
    1. to grab or hold on, as to an object or idea, especially tightly or tenaciously.
    2. to include or add in; attach: If we latch the tax on, the bill will come to over $100.
  2. latch onto, Informal.
    1. to take possession of; obtain; get.
    2. to acquire understanding of; comprehend.
    3. to attach oneself to; join in with: The stray dog latched onto the children and wouldn't go home.
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Origin of latch

before 950; 1930–35 for def 5; Middle English lacchen, Old English lǣccan to take hold of, catch, seize; akin to Greek lázesthai to take
Related formsre·latch, verb (used with object)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for latches

latch

noun
  1. a fastening for a gate or door that consists of a bar that may be slid or lowered into a groove, hole, etc
  2. a spring-loaded door lock that can be opened by a key from outside
  3. 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
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verb
  1. to fasten, fit, or be fitted with or as if with a latch
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Word Origin

Old English læccan to seize, of Germanic origin; related to Greek lazesthai
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

Word Origin and History for latches

latch

v.

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.

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latch

n.

a fastening for a door, etc., late 13c., probably from latch (v.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper