latchkey

noun
latch·​key | \ ˈlach-ˌkē How to pronounce latchkey (audio) \

Definition of latchkey

: a key to an outside and especially a front door

Examples of latchkey in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In an interview with the American Association for Public Opinion Research, Santos spoke of being an adventurous latchkey kid who learned to fish at Woodlawn Lake using his mother’s tortilla masa for bait. Elaine Ayala, San Antonio Express-News, "Ayala: Biden's census pick a statistician with a social justice heart," 17 Apr. 2021 Yes, today’s helicopter and tiger parents were once latchkey kids, nuking solitary French bread pizza dinners in the microwave. Elisabeth Egan, New York Times, "Beverly Cleary Wrote About Real Life, and Her Readers Loved Her for It," 26 Mar. 2021 Schoolchildren coming to an empty home for lunch because their mothers were working were disparaged as Schlüsselkinder, or latchkey kids. Isabelle De Pommereau, The Christian Science Monitor, "Why does Germany make so little room for working moms?," 23 Sep. 2020 When the coronavirus pandemic started, some Gen X-ers bragged that they were uniquely suited for the lockdown, as former latchkey kids who were used to sitting around doing nothing. Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, "Bill and Ted and the Bogus Letdown of Gen X Middle Age," 2 Sep. 2020 Shutdown orders across the nation prompted a flurry of half-joking speculation that Generation X, a cluster of former latchkey kids raised on pop culture that plumbed social alienation, was uniquely prepared to weather quarantining at home. J.c. Pan, The New Republic, "Generational Warfare in a Pandemic," 22 Apr. 2020 Growing up in Meadowview in Sacramento, California, aka Danger Island, Mahisha Dellinger was a latchkey kid from a single-parent home. Marquita K. Harris, Essence, "Meet Mahisha Dellinger, A Self-Made Millionaire," 22 Oct. 2019 As latchkey kids in an often harsh environment, the Gunners found that the most effective defense against pain was the denial of it. Xhenet Aliu, New York Times, "Childhood Friends — Once Inseparable, Now Far-Flung — Reunite for a Funeral," 11 May 2018 Perceptions of masculinity are informed by everything and everyone around us, and for me, a latchkey kid with hours of entertainment budgeted into each day, media played as significant a role in shaping those ideas as did my own parents. Jordan Calhoun, The Atlantic, "Growing Up Without Jane the Virgin," 20 Apr. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of latchkey

1825, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about latchkey

Time Traveler for latchkey

Time Traveler

The first known use of latchkey was in 1825

See more words from the same year

Statistics for latchkey

Last Updated

24 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Latchkey.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/latchkey. Accessed 15 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for latchkey

latchkey

noun

English Language Learners Definition of latchkey

: a key for opening an outside door

Comments on latchkey

What made you want to look up latchkey? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!