American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A fastening, as for a door or gate, typically consisting of a bar that fits into a notch or slot and is lifted from either side by a lever or string.
- n. A spring lock, as for a door, that is opened from the outside by a key.
- v. To close or lock with or as if with a latch.
- v. To have or be closed with a latch.
- v. To shut tightly so that the latch is engaged: a door too warped to latch.
- idiom. on to To get hold of; obtain: latched on to a fortune in the fur trade.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To seize; lay hold of; snatch; catch.
- To take; snatch up or off.
- To receive; obtain.
- To hold; support; retain.
- To close or fasten with a latch; as, to latch a gate.
- To snatch: with at.
- To light or fall.
- To tarry; loiter; lag.
- n. A device for catching or retaining something; a catch. Specifically— A trap; snare.
- n. A kind of gravity-lock, or door fastening consisting of some form of pivoted bolt falling into and catching against a catch or stop. Latches are usually made with a lifter or lever for raising the bar from either side of the door. Some simple forms consist merely of a wooden baron the inside, which is raised by a string passed through a hole in the door, Door- and gate-latches are made in many forms, and are described by their names, rim-, night-, thumb-latches, etc.
- n. Nautical, a small line like a loop, used to fasten a bonnet on the foot of a sail. Also latching.
- n. The trigger of a crossbow; hence, the crossbow itself when it is of the kind discharged by a latch.
- n. In a knitting-machine, same as fly, 3 .
- To pour or drip (water); dribble.
- To drip a liquid upon; moisten.
- See leach.
- n. A miry place.
- n. A tanners' pit, sunk below the general level of the ground, in which ooze is prepared from tan-bark or other similar material by leaching it with water. A contraction of latch- or leach-pit.
- n. A fastening for a door that has a bar that fits into a notch or slot, and is lifted by a lever or string from either side.
- n. A flip-flop electronic circuit
- n. obsolete A latching.
- n. obsolete A crossbow.
- v. To close or lock as if with a latch
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. obsolete To smear; to anoint.
- n. obsolete That which fastens or holds; a lace; a snare.
- n. A movable piece which holds anything in place by entering a notch or cavity; specifically, the catch which holds a door or gate when closed, though it be not bolted.
- n. (Naut.) A latching.
- n. obsolete A crossbow.
- v. obsolete To catch so as to hold.
- v. To catch or fasten by means of a latch.
- n. spring-loaded doorlock that can only be opened from the outside with a key
- n. catch for fastening a door or gate; a bar that can be lowered or slid into a groove
- v. fasten with a latch
- Middle English latche ("a latch"), from lacchen ("to seize"), from Old English læċċan ("to grasp, take hold of, catch, seize"), from Proto-Germanic *lak(w)janan, *lakkijanan (“to seize”), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)lag-, *(s)lagw- (“to take, seize”). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English latche, from lacchen, to seize, from Old English læccan. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“If the door opens inward the latch is the right way for the look to be on the outside”
“Now will McCain latch on to the stupid ideas that it will increase the number of tatoos?”
“The latch is locked in place with a snap, which can be opened by squeezing ...”
“What interests me here is not so much the dwindling of attention spans, as what I call 'nuggeting' -- scanning only for the important points, the catching points where the eye and the brain latch on to information -- a point of change or transition or a contrast.”
“I think the new latch is mounted forward of the trigger guard and it isn't as handy.”
“For some reason it made it easier for her to latch from a traditional position on my lap (on top of cushions).”
“Make sure your baby's latch is AWESOME when you start feeding.”
“The latch is broken, and the door is never really shut.”
“His latch is terrible and hurts if I nurse more than 5 minutes, so I pump most of the time and when I can’t, the kid gets formula.”
“If your son’s latch is pretty good, have you considered exclusively pumping and feeding him expressed milk for a few days until your girls heal up?”
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English words of Anglo-Saxon origin.
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