latches onto

latch

[lach]
noun
1.
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)
2.
to close or fasten with a latch.
verb (used without object)
3.
to close tightly so that the latch is secured: The door won't latch.
Verb phrases
4.
latch on,
a.
to grab or hold on, as to an object or idea, especially tightly or tenaciously.
b.
to include or add in; attach: If we latch the tax on, the bill will come to over $100.
5.
latch onto, Informal.
a.
to take possession of; obtain; get.
b.
to acquire understanding of; comprehend.
c.
to attach oneself to; join in with: The stray dog latched onto the children and wouldn't go home.

Origin:
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)
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
latch (lætʃ)
 
n
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
 
vb
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
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

latch
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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