latch·​key ˈlach-ˌkē How to pronounce latchkey (audio)
: a key to an outside and especially a front door

Examples of latchkey in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Maybe that’s the definition of how some current-day parents were raised—you’re part of the latchkey generation if your mom wouldn’t have noticed that E.T. was in her house. Jessica Winter, The New Yorker, 22 Oct. 2023 This is not only an inner-city problem or for communities with latchkey kids or gangs. Sharon Grigsby, Dallas News, 5 Sep. 2023 Tamara was a latchkey kid and Tommy made many of his own meals growing up. Sarah Blaskovich, Dallas News, 23 June 2023 Frank Edwards grew up as a latchkey kid in Dallas. Kalley Huang, Dallas News, 11 Aug. 2021 Until the family moved to London, young Coxon was adrift, a latchkey kid drawing ghouls in his notebooks, unsure of his place in the world. Marc Weingarten, Los Angeles Times, 24 Feb. 2023 Root cause of violence, which is unattended, latchkey kids or kids running the streets. Laura Johnston, cleveland, 13 Jan. 2023 Back in 1985 in Hawaii, Ata and Rocky try to one-up Lia’s promotion by getting new big-name wrestlers; Dewey falls in with a group of latchkey kids. Olivia McCormack, Washington Post, 6 Jan. 2023 The sisters were latchkey kids, getting themselves to school and completing their homework, until their paternal grandmother eventually moved in after emigrating from Korea. Ken Budd, Washington Post, 30 Nov. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'latchkey.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1825, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of latchkey was in 1825

Dictionary Entries Near latchkey

Cite this Entry

“Latchkey.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


latch·​key ˈlach-ˌkē How to pronounce latchkey (audio)
: a key for opening a door latch
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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