latchkey

[ lach-kee ]
/ ˈlætʃˌki /

noun, plural latch·keys.

a key for releasing a latch or springlock, especially on an outer door.

RELATED WORDS


Nearby words

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

Origin of latchkey

First recorded in 1815–25; latch + key1

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

Examples from the Web for latchkey


British Dictionary definitions for latchkey

latchkey

/ (ˈlætʃˌkiː) /

noun

a key for an outside door or gate, esp one that lifts a latch
  1. a supposed freedom from restrictions
  2. (as modifier)a latchkey existence
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 latchkey

latchkey

also latch-key, 1825, a key to draw back the latch of a door, from latch (n.) + key (n.1). Latchkey child first recorded 1944, American English, in reference to children who come home from school while both parents are at work.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper