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[lach-ing] /ˈlætʃ ɪŋ/
any of the loops by which a bonnet is attached to a sail.
Origin of latching
1325-75; Middle English; see latch, -ing1


[lach] /lætʃ/
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,
  1. to grab or hold on, as to an object or idea, especially tightly or tenaciously.
  2. to include or add in; attach:
    If we latch the tax on, the bill will come to over $100.
latch onto, Informal.
  1. to take possession of; obtain; get.
  2. to acquire understanding of; comprehend.
  3. 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
Related forms
relatch, verb (used with object) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for latching
  • In either case, our brains are latching onto patterns and getting pleasure from accurately predicting what comes next.
  • Rumours of bank mergers are always in the air, but now they are latching quickly on to wounded targets.
  • On the back there's a double-latching hatch with a gasket.
  • Then, latching the camera to its tripod, he focuses for a stand-up.
  • The coronavirus attacks cells by latching onto receptors on a cell's surface, fusing with the cell and then infecting it.
  • Stymie the politicians latching on, hoping to sound tough on immigration to gain points with uninformed voters.
  • But more importantly the poor victimize the poor by latching on to the wrong social policies.
  • latching onto this case because one of the people involved happens to be autistic is silly.
  • The gate also must include a self-latching lock that closes the gate when it is released.
  • Plaintiffs claimed the crash was caused by a defective seat latching mechanism.
British Dictionary definitions for latching


a fastening for a gate or door that consists of a bar that may be slid or lowered into a groove, hole, etc
a spring-loaded door lock that can be opened by a key from outside
(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
to fasten, fit, or be fitted with or as if with a latch
Word Origin
Old English læccan to seize, of Germanic origin; related to Greek lazesthai
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for latching



Old English læccan "to grasp or seize," from Proto-Germanic *lakkijanan. Not found in other Germanic languages; probably from PIE *(s)lagw- "to seize" (see analemma). In its original sense the verb was paralleled in Middle English and then replaced by French import catch (v.). Meaning "to fasten with a latch" is mid-15c. Related: Latched; latching.


a fastening for a door, etc., late 13c., probably from latch (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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