a device for holding a door, gate, or the like, closed, consisting basically of a bar falling or sliding into a catch, groove, hole, etc.
verb (used with object)
to close or fasten with a latch.
verb (used without object)
to close tightly so that the latch is secured: The door won't latch.
Verb phrases
latch on,
to grab or hold on, as to an object or idea, especially tightly or tenaciously.
to include or add in; attach: If we latch the tax on, the bill will come to over $100.
latch onto, Informal.
to take possession of; obtain; get.
to acquire understanding of; comprehend.
to attach oneself to; join in with: The stray dog latched onto the children and wouldn't go home.

before 950; 1930–35 for def 5; Middle English lacchen, Old English lǣccan to take hold of, catch, seize; akin to Greek lázesthai to take

relatch, verb (used with object) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
latch (lætʃ)
1.  a fastening for a gate or door that consists of a bar that may be slid or lowered into a groove, hole, etc
2.  a spring-loaded door lock that can be opened by a key from outside
3.  electronics Also called: latch circuit a logic circuit that transfers the input states to the output states when signalled, the output thereafter remaining insensitive to changes in input status until signalled again
4.  to fasten, fit, or be fitted with or as if with a latch
[Old English læccan to seize, of Germanic origin; related to Greek lazesthai]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. læccan "to grasp or seize," from P.Gmc. *lakkijanan. Not found in other Gmc. languages; probably from PIE *(s)lagw- "to seize" (see analemma). The noun is first recorded 1331, from the verb. Latchkey (1825) is a key to draw back the latch of a door; latchkey
child first recorded 1944, Amer.Eng., in ref. to children who come home from school while both parents are at work.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Computing Dictionary

latch definition

A digital logic circuit used to store one or more bits. A latch has a data input, a clock input and an output. When the clock input is active, data on the input is "latched" or stored and transfered to the output either immediately or when the clock input goes inactive. The output will then retain its value until the clock goes active again.
See also flip-flop.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Example sentences
Many parents, determined not to be cruel or counterproductive, latch on to
  pre-approved language from books.
Primed for triumph, they were ready to latch onto a symbol of what they
  believed would be a joyous finale to the war.
Often something pops up in the conclusion that you can latch onto.
All it would take is for a single spore, barely bigger than a red blood cell,
  to latch onto the shirt of an oblivious traveler.
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