latch onto

latch onto (someone or something)

1. To understand or make sense of something. Once he latched onto the instructions in the manual, he was able to complete the repair.
2. To gain or obtain something. I need to latch onto a birthday card before the party on Saturday.
3. To become closely involved with a person or group. I latched onto the one friend I'd made at orientation and followed her around the cafeteria.
See also: latch

latch onto something

1. Fig. to obtain something. (See also latch on(to someone or something).) I have to latch onto a hundred bucks by Friday night. I latched onto a good book about repairing plumbing.
2. Fig. to begin to understand something. When Fred finally latched onto the principles of algebra, he began to get better grades. Sue doesn't quite latch onto the proper stance in golf.
See also: latch

latch onto

Also, latch on to.
1. Get hold of, grasp; also, understand, grasp mentally. For example, They latched onto a fortune in the fur trade, or Carol quickly latched on to how the sewing machine works. [c. 1930]
2. Attach oneself to, join in with, as in Rob didn't know the way so he latched on to one of the older children. [c. 1930]
See also: latch
References in periodicals archive ?
West Ham defender Manuel da Costa failed to deal with Malbranque's inswinging delivery but Campbell could not latch onto the loose ball.
A fun weapon is the grappling hook, which Rico can use to latch onto any vehicle -- land, sea or air.
But boxed up with Christian, these roaches used their hooks to latch onto him
Drugs added to animal feed can latch onto dust particles that become airborne and float through farm buildings, according to German scientists investigating health risks.
It's why the terrified and the simple / latch onto one story, / just one version of the great mystery.
Intellectuals] latch onto hip-hop to latch onto hipness.
I am by no means wedded to a model of criticism which would always automatically prioritize such issues, but they do at least provide something which twenty-first century undergraduates can latch onto, and my main reservation about this book is that it can tend to the dry.
Davenport is the only American in the tournament, leaving little for the casual Southern California tennis fan to latch onto.
You learned in "Shark-Bite Science" that the blind shark uses suction to latch onto prey.
Previous studies suggested that one receptor is particularly instrumental to bone growth, so his team screened hundreds of compounds to find ones that would only latch onto that cell-surface molecule.
You have plenty of jumps to make, many hooks and platforms to latch onto, enemies to avoid and vehicles to drive.
When an ice crystal forms and grows in a wheat plant, AFPs latch onto the crystal's surface, blocking further growth.
Complement proteins latch onto the antibodies, and the resulting immune complex destroys the invaders and creates debris in the bloodstream.