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latchkey

[lach-kee] /ˈlætʃˌki/
noun, plural latchkeys.
1.
a key for releasing a latch or springlock, especially on an outer door.
Origin
1815-1825
1815-25; latch + key1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for latch-key

latchkey

/ˈlætʃˌkiː/
noun
1.
a key for an outside door or gate, esp one that lifts a latch
2.
  1. a supposed freedom from restrictions
  2. (as modifier): a latchkey existence
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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Word Origin and History for latch-key

latchkey

also latch-key, 1825, a key to draw back the latch of a door, from latch (n.) + key (n.1). Latchkey child first recorded 1944, American English, in reference to children who come home from school while both parents are at work.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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10
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