any of the loops by which a bonnet is attached to a sail.

Nearby words

  1. latch hook,
  2. latch needle,
  3. latch on,
  4. latch onto,
  5. latchet,
  6. latchkey,
  7. latchkey child,
  8. latchstring,
  9. late,
  10. late blight

Origin of latching

Middle English word dating back to 1325–75; see origin at latch, -ing1




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.

verb (used with object)

to close or fasten with a latch.

verb (used without object)

to close tightly so that the latch is secured: The door won't latch.

Verb Phrases

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.
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.

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) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for latching

British Dictionary definitions for latching



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 for latch

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 latching
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper