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[lach-string] /ˈlætʃˌstrɪŋ/
a string passed through a hole in a door, for raising the latch from the outside.
Origin of latchstring
1785-95; latch + string Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for latchstring
Historical Examples
  • As he closed it he did an unprecedented thing,he drew in the latchstring.

  • Perhaps the reader has heard before this of having the latchstring out, but has not known just what the phrase meant.

    Stories Of Ohio William Dean Howells
  • It goes often to the home where the latchstring hangs on the outside.

    Laugh and Live Douglas Fairbanks
  • Now callers upon the Hamlins, in general, just pulled the latchstring and came in.

    The Duke of Stockbridge Edward Bellamy
  • He fumbled for the latchstring, and pulling it carelessly, the door flew open suddenly, and he almost fell into the room.

    The Young Mountaineers Charles Egbert Craddock
  • He twitched the latchstring, the door being so balanced on its hinges that it swung inward of itself.

    The Boy Patrol on Guard Edward S. Ellis
  • Hang out the latchstring and remove everything breakable, for the wanderer is coming home!

  • And the day cannot be delayed much longer now when every child shall find the latchstring out on the school door.

    The Battle with the Slum Jacob A. Riis.
  • He pulled the latchstring with his left hand and pushed the door open with his foot, the rifle ready.

    The Keeper Henry Beam Piper
  • The latchstring is always out in camp; and never does an appeal for help go disregarded.

    At Whispering Pine Lodge Lawrence J. Leslie
British Dictionary definitions for latchstring


a length of string fastened to a latch and passed through a hole in the door so that it can be opened from the other side
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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