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.

verb (used with object)

  1. to close or fasten with a latch.

verb (used without object)

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

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.


  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


  1. to fasten, fit, or be fitted with or as if with a 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. n.a fastening for a door, etc., late 13c., probably from latch (v.).

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