• synonyms

latchkey child


a child who must spend at least part of the day alone and unsupervised, as when the parents are away at work.



Nearby words

latch on, latch onto, latchet, latching, latchkey, latchkey child, latchstring, late, late blight, late bloomer, late charge

Origin of latchkey child

First recorded in 1940–45; so called because such a child is provided with a key for getting into the home after school
Also called door-key child. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for latchkey child

latchkey child


a child who has to let himself or herself in at home on returning from school, as his or her parents are out at work
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