from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Any latch or door-bolt, controlled by a spring and having a beveled head which, when the door is closed, is pressed back by meeting the strike and is thrown out again when the door is shut: the common form of self-locking bolt.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Contrast it with this neat American lock, and notice again the bosses to receive the wear; notice also that the bolts are brass; the latch-bolt is, of course, reversible -- I never saw an American lock which was not.
I could see nothing through the window slit, and lighting a pine fagot, shot back the latch-bolt and threw open the door.