Definition of latch in English:



  • 1A metal bar with a catch and lever used for fastening a door or gate.

    • ‘Sid and Joey are proud of the family history the farms portray, from the stately Westleigh bank barn to the handmade gate hinges and latches made from iron by a 1930s farmhand.’
    • ‘He led them deep into the back of the castle before they crossed a small, obviously rarely used courtyard and he paused, pulling back the rusty latch of the small gate.’
    • ‘He put it on, swung down from the sides the cheek-guards, fastened the metal latch tightly.’
    • ‘I walked over to the large oak door and lifted the latch.’
    • ‘It is made out of household parts, including a gate latch and a bike seat, and is thought to have been used for an arms exhibition.’
    • ‘Because if it is the one with the gate, that is quite a secure fence and it looks like a gate with a latch.’
    • ‘I nodded at Mr. Gretchen and slowly made my way over to the gate and unhooked the latch.’
    • ‘You have to lift the latch to swing the door out, and listen for it to click when it closes.’
    • ‘I reached for the gate's latch and then pain seared through my head.’
    • ‘He simply chuckled in return, stepping closer and undoing the latch to the metal box on the floor.’
    • ‘Bolt-thru gate hinges and latches provides stability and long lasting performance.’
    • ‘Darius flipped the latch and pushed the gate open.’
    • ‘He was holding the latch of a metal door in the side of the pipe.’
    • ‘Heavy-duty one-way and two-way gate latches can be operated with one hand, even on horseback!’
    • ‘On large canvas slabs, he uses a thick rust-colored paint and applies objects such as antler-shaped branches, a door latch or a metal chain.’
    • ‘She crept downstairs, holding her breath as she passed her mother's room, pulled on her coat and shoes then lifted the heavy latch which secured the door.’
    • ‘Good fencing with secure gates and latches can provide homeowners with added protection and security for their homes and property.’
    • ‘Their products are about as accurate as a lobbed brick, and cycle like the rusty gate latch in your great aunt Emily's side yard.’
    • ‘Lifting her dress a few inches, she ran daintily across the grass and fumbled for a moment with the latch of the gate, locking it quickly behind her.’
    • ‘Solid gates are more likely to catch the wind, and a faulty latch will cause the gate to bang about, causing you and your neighbours sleepless nights.’
    fastening, catch, fastener
    clasp, hasp, hook, bar, bolt, clip
    lock, padlock, deadlock
    sneck, snib
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A spring lock for an outer door that catches when the door is closed and can only be opened from the outside with a key.
      • ‘A deadbolt is more secure than a spring-driven latch since it's much harder to push the bolt in from the side of the door.’
      • ‘Wasting no time I pulled on my trousers and buckled them, kicking into my shoes and grabbing my shirt and jacket when the door latch opened.’
      • ‘Within seconds, I had located the latch and opened the door.’
      • ‘The side access panel is secured and released by means of two knurled thumbscrews and a spring-loaded latch.’
      • ‘The key turned, the latch unlocked and the door opened.’
      • ‘The kiln includes a floating door system with four spring door latches and a recess on the inner door surface.’
      • ‘John steps silently into the hallway and closes the door behind him, careful not to make a noise when he presses the button on the metal latch.’
      • ‘There is a second lock preventing the latch from opening the door.’
      • ‘The fore-end is mounted to the barrels not with a cheap spring latch as on late American doubles, but rather with a nicely inlet lever release.’
      • ‘One latch is spring-loaded and another is a two-position switch that prevents the battery from slipping out accidentally.’
      • ‘John undid the latch and opened the door as if he were breaking in, using his shoulder like a battering ram.’
      • ‘He fumbled for the latch to open his door, and left the limousine and the beautiful woman behind as quickly as he could.’
      • ‘She pushed a series of buttons on the outside of the door and a latch unhitched.’
      • ‘Sturdy metal doors, held shut with spring latches, keep prying eyes and little hands away from the internal components.’
      • ‘It is a good idea to actually install the spring latch itself in the door temporarily to be sure the plate is properly located.’
      • ‘When you depress the spring-loaded latch it opens smoothly on a hinge (also spring loaded).’
      • ‘I was also very impressed with the ease with which the split rear seats could be dropped using spring-loaded latches.’
      • ‘Outside, several latches disengaged, one after another.’
      • ‘Of course, it is a little late to be thinking about this now, since the plate must align with the spring latch of the lock you just installed.’
      • ‘The latch didn't catch, and the door shivered open.’
      bolt, lock, catch, fastening, fastener
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Electronics A circuit that retains whatever output state results from a momentary input signal until reset by another signal.
      • ‘In one embodiment, the storage element is a data latch comprising a clock-enabled inverter serially coupled with a flip-flop.’
      • ‘The compare circuit includes a holding circuitry that includes a number of latches for holding an encoded version of a memory address.’
      • ‘The actuator latch of a hard disk drive selectively intercepts the movement of the locking protrusion at the actuator so that the actuator is locked and unlocked.’
      • ‘Sense amplifier latches are coupled to each column of memory cells.’
      • ‘The binding latch remains in a reset state while the battery signal is applied.’
    3. 1.3The part of a knitting machine needle that closes or opens to hold or release the wool.


  • 1 Fasten (a door or gate) with a latch.

    ‘she latched the door carefully’
    • ‘Kathryn rolled her eyes and latched the door securely.’
    • ‘Kathryn started as well and quickly slipped from the stall and latched the door.’
    • ‘And he shushed her, pulling her into the house, and latching the back door.’
    • ‘So we latched the door and waited in dark silence with bottles in our hands while four huge dudes tried to kick in the windows and doors yelling at us to come out so they could shoot and kill us.’
    • ‘She took of her halter, slipped out of the stall, and then closed and latched the stall door.’
    • ‘Her father walked briskly to the door, and latched it shut, before having a seat at the counter.’
    • ‘Without waiting for a reply, he latched the door shut again.’
    • ‘Alexandra did so, quietly shutting and latching the door behind her.’
    • ‘He kept disappearing into the toilet where he would latch the door and snort cocaine.’
    • ‘Noah latched the gate and turned around, standing next to her.’
    • ‘‘My mother wants to see you,’ Marc said, latching the door softly.’
    • ‘She latched the door shut as she stepped outside and looked around.’
    • ‘He stepped out of the shed and latched the door behind him just as Trent slammed the tailgate shut.’
    • ‘Aimee went into the last cubicle and latched the door, deciding that she should read a book there until the bell rings.’
    • ‘After latching the door I turned back into the dark room and froze.’
    • ‘Once the viewing was over, they latched the door again, in silence.’
    • ‘He nodded to one of the serfs, who turned and latched the door.’
    • ‘I latched the glass door, and locked the other one, and then I left for the streets.’
    • ‘She shut the door, latched it, and climbed into the driver's seat.’
    • ‘‘Alright,’ Sam called, exiting the barn and sliding the two large doors shut and latching them.’
    fasten, secure, make fast, bar, bolt
    lock, padlock, deadlock
    sneck, snib
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Electronics [no object](of a device) become fixed in a particular state.

Phrasal Verbs

  • latch onto

    • 1Attach oneself to (someone) as a constant and usually unwelcome companion.

      ‘a knack for latching onto people with greater initiative and enterprise’
      • ‘As a further sub-plot, we have John meeting an Asian woman who latches on to him and takes photographs constantly - she turns out to be an art student, and takes John clubbing, along with her student pals.’
      • ‘Eyre, 38, latched on to the boy while he was still living at home, plying him with drink and drugs, alienating him from his family and brainwashing him into believing that what he was going through was somehow normal.’
      • ‘She gathers her things and leaves the hospital, followed by the Doctor, who in his confused state latches on to someone he recognizes.’
      • ‘He latches on to Dan one evening, all but inviting himself to the man's home for dinner.’
      affiliate with, associate with, align with, ally with, unite with, combine with, integrate into, join to
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1Take up (an idea or trend) enthusiastically.
        ‘the media have latched onto the snappy “Generation X” catchphrase’
        • ‘By making the states' rights argument, the Republicans had finally latched on to an idea that resonated with conservatives in the South.’
        • ‘It won't take food and drinks companies long to all latch on to the fact that Manchester sells.’
        • ‘The Scottish Executive has latched on to the idea that a national day is a handy way to market Scotland abroad.’
        • ‘Frustrated by the lack of quick progress on the ground and fading political support at home, Washington is now latching on to the idea that a quick transfer of power to local troops and politicians would make things better.’
        • ‘But this figure is expected to rise as more affluent mainland tourists latch on to the idea of health tourism.’
        • ‘Paul and friends, while supping pints, latched on to the far-fetched idea of representing their country at a sport.’
        • ‘England, slowly latching on to the idea that their cricketers are better playing than not playing, are letting all members of their triumphant side take part in today's round of matches’
        • ‘At a time when there was little in the way of invention, everybody latched on to the only big idea in town.’
        • ‘People seem to be latching on to the idea that if they own a piece of music in one format, they have a right to duplicate it in another.’
        • ‘While latching on to the up-country trend, the industry here found itself wrong-footed and woefully short of male dancing talents.’
      2. 1.2(of one substance) cohere with (another)
        • ‘These are specialized molecules that can latch on to antigens and help the rest of the immune system eliminate the foreign particle.’
        • ‘Some contain a strip of adhesive amino acids that latch on to their cognate sequences like Velcro.’
        • ‘Each of these groups of molecules contains a unique fatty acid group and a peptidic head group that latches on to iron ions.’
        • ‘Since we can't get closer than a quarter mile, we're gonna have to be shuttled in somehow and I'm not gonna take any chances that one of those mines latch on to either a sled or the mini-sub.’
        • ‘By means of simple chemical programming, it's able to latch on to a cell wall.’
        • ‘It turns out that the protein, gp 120, is extremely flexible and difficult for antibodies to latch on to.’
        • ‘Before then, as soon as a positively charged nucleus tried to latch on to a negatively charged electron, the electron would have been knocked away by an energetic photon.’
        • ‘So what they did was condense the information into an encrypted message so tiny that it could latch on to only one wavelength of sound.’
        • ‘The Finnish researchers had made these antibody fragments to specifically latch on to only one mirror-image form, or enantiomer, of a test molecule.’


Old English læccan take hold of, grasp (physically or mentally) of Germanic origin.