verb (1)
\ ˈlach \
latched; latching; latches

Definition of latch

 (Entry 1 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to lay hold with or as if with the hands or arms used with on or onto
2 : to associate oneself intimately and often artfully used with on or onto latched onto a rich widow



Definition of latch (Entry 2 of 3)

: any of various devices in which mating mechanical parts engage to fasten but usually not to lock something:
a : a fastener (as for a door) consisting essentially of a pivoted bar that falls into a notch
b : a fastener (as for a door) in which a spring slides a bolt into a hole also : night latch


verb (2)
latched; latching; latches

Definition of latch (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

: to make fast with or as if with a latch

Examples of latch in a Sentence


He lifted the latch and opened the gate. I heard her key turn in the latch.

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In 2011, back home stateside, Hippeard latched on with the Columbus Lions of the Southern Indoor Football League, chosen for the league’s similarity to the AFL. Jonas Shaffer,, "For Brigade star QB Randy Hippeard, a long, strange trip through football's farthest reaches," 3 May 2018 And with an appetite for first-person shooters, many were quick to latch onto PUBG, which arrived on mobile before Fortnite. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "PUBG mobile has as many players as Fortnite," 18 Dec. 2018 Normally, the tick would have been hiding in vegetation, hoping to latch onto a small mammal or a feathered dinosaur to suck its blood. National Geographic, "Tick Wrapped in Spider Silk Found Trapped in Amber—A First," 25 May 2018 But there were also hundreds of others who weren't select who are trying to find somewhere — anywhere — to latch onto a roster and continue chasing their dream. Jordan Mcpherson, miamiherald, "Dolphins receiver has a message for players who weren't taken in the NFL Draft | Miami Herald," 1 May 2018 Jon Bon Jovi never seemed to latch onto the lyrics of the song, while he was drowned out by guitars. Troy L. Smith,, "Bon Jovi's Rock Hall Induction belonged to Richie Sambora," 14 Apr. 2018 One common recipe for rebuilding NFL teams is to latch onto a young passer in the draft, then build around him. Lorenzo Reyes, USA TODAY, "Bears' free agency splash all about helping Mitchell Trubisky," 13 Mar. 2018 In surveillance video released by the sheriff's office, Titan can be seen latching onto Wilson's arm with his teeth as a deputy commands the 24-year-old to get onto his stomach or else the dog would not let go. Travis Fedschun, Fox News, "Florida man who tried to kidnap child taken down by K-9, police say," 19 Sep. 2018 Completely surround your pool with a 4-feet high fence or barrier with a self-closing, self-latching gate. Julie Mazziotta,, "What to Know About Pool Safety and How to Prevent Drowning Emergencies," 13 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Neither means of access is very convenient: the roll top requires two hands to manipulate the latch and then unroll all the material, while access via the TIZIP requires one hand to grasp the bag firmly while the other yanks the TIZIP open. Thomas Ricker, The Verge, "‘The world’s most versatile waterproof backpack’ review," 20 Nov. 2018 In the case of French or double doors, advises installing additional barrel bolt latches that extend into the header and floor. Fox News, "Hurricane Florence: How to prepare your home for the worst," 12 Sep. 2018 For doors with latches, levers require the least effort. Sara Bliss, WSJ, "Renovation Strategies to Live at Home—Stylishly—Into Your 80s," 23 Aug. 2018 The second-row seats slide forward by a latch on the top of the seat. Robert Duffer,, "2018 Volkswagen Atlas carries 3-row SUV class on its shoulders," 16 Jan. 2018 Over the course of the next hour, Parmitano maneuvered Cygnus carefully to the Earth-facing berthing port of the station's Harmony module, where latches locked it into place. Michael Belfiore, Popular Mechanics, "Orbital Sciences' Cygnus Berths with Space Station," 30 Sep. 2013 The Pelican Vault cases have heavy-duty hinges, stainless steel lock hasps, and secure push-button latches. Timothy Dahl, Popular Mechanics, "How to Choose the Best Gun Storage," 8 Aug. 2018 The insect's secret is a spring-latch system that allows it to store large amounts of energy and release it almost instantaneously. Robbie Gonzalez, WIRED, "Nature’s Mechanical Secrets Could Help Build Faster Robots," 26 Apr. 2018 Inside, pregnant women and new moms relaxed into pastel poufs; three-week-old babies suckled not far from a two-year-old; a lactation coach suggested alternate positions for a better latch. Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "The Breastfeeding Movement Is Experiencing a Tech Revolution—Here's How It's Helping New Moms," 11 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'latch.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of latch

Verb (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


13th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb (2)

1530, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for latch

Verb (1)

Middle English lachen, from Old English læccan; perhaps akin to Greek lambanein to take, seize

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Dictionary Entries near latch

latania scale




latch bolt



Statistics for latch

Last Updated

8 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for latch

The first known use of latch was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for latch



English Language Learners Definition of latch

: a device that holds a door, gate, or window closed and that consists of a bar that falls into a holder when it is closed and that is lifted when it is open

: a type of door lock that can be opened from the inside by turning a lever or knob but can only be opened from the outside with a key


\ ˈlach \

Kids Definition of latch

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a movable piece that holds a door, gate, or window closed


latched; latching

Kids Definition of latch (Entry 2 of 2)

: to close or fasten with a latch

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More from Merriam-Webster on latch

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with latch

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for latch

Spanish Central: Translation of latch

Nglish: Translation of latch for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of latch for Arabic Speakers

Comments on latch

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someone who never drinks alcohol

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