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latchkey child

a child who must spend at least part of the day alone and unsupervised, as when the parents are away at work.
Also called door-key child.
1940-45; so called because such a child is provided with a key for getting into the home after school Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for latch key children

latchkey child

a child who has to let himself or herself in at home on returning from school, as his or her parents are out at work
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Slang definitions & phrases for latch key children

latchkey child

noun phrase

A child whose parents are working and who must spend part of the day unsupervised at home: A latchkey child, Nikki would always go home, stay inside, and do her homework/ Personally, I always wanted to be a latchkey kid, or at least have a key (1944+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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