from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun 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.
  • noun A spring lock, as for a door, that is opened from the outside by a key.
  • intransitive verb To close or lock with a latch.
  • intransitive verb To have or be closed with a latch.
  • intransitive verb To shut tightly so that the latch is engaged.
  • idiom (on to/onto) To get hold of; obtain.
  • idiom (on to/onto) To cling to.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To pour or drip (water); dribble.
  • To drip a liquid upon; moisten.
  • See leach.
  • noun A device for catching or retaining something; a catch.
  • noun 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.
  • noun Nautical, a small line like a loop, used to fasten a bonnet on the foot of a sail. Also latching.
  • noun The trigger of a crossbow; hence, the crossbow itself when it is of the kind discharged by a latch.
  • noun In a knitting-machine, same as fly, 3 .
  • noun 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.
  • 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.
  • noun A miry place.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb obsolete To smear; to anoint.
  • noun obsolete That which fastens or holds; a lace; a snare.
  • noun 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.
  • noun (Naut.) A latching.
  • noun obsolete A crossbow.
  • transitive verb obsolete To catch so as to hold.
  • transitive verb To catch or fasten by means of a latch.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun 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.
  • noun A flip-flop electronic circuit
  • noun obsolete A latching.
  • noun obsolete A crossbow.
  • verb To close or lock as if with a latch

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun spring-loaded doorlock that can only be opened from the outside with a key
  • noun catch for fastening a door or gate; a bar that can be lowered or slid into a groove
  • verb fasten with a latch


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English latche, from lacchen, to seize, from Old English læccan.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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”).



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