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latchkey child

A school-age child who is unsupervised after school or in general, due to his or her parents being away for work. I know it makes me sound horrible, but I just don't want Tommy hanging out with those latchkey children from down the road. Being a latchkey child was tough at times, but it taught me the value of self-reliance at an earlier age than most.
See also: child, latchkey

latchkey kid

A school-age child who is unsupervised after school or in general due to his or her parents being away for work. I know it makes me sound horrible, but I just don't want Tommy hanging out with those latchkey kids from down the road. Being a latchkey kid was tough at times, but it taught me the value of self-reliance at an earlier age than most.
See also: kid, latchkey

latch on (to someone)

to get hold of someone. I don't know where Jane is. Let me try to latch onto her.
See also: latch, on

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 string is always out

Fig. You are always welcome. Come by anytime. The latch string is always out. No need to call before you come over. For you folks, the latch string is always out.
See also: always, latch, out, string

latch onto somebody/something

to become closely connected to someone or something I knew she would be perfect in the film, so I latched onto her like a magnet. More and more countries latched onto computer technology as an important tool for development.
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

latch

on to/onto
1. To get hold of; obtain: latched on to a fortune in the fur trade.
2. To cling to.
References in periodicals archive ?
Miniaturized instruments used in unmanned vehicle systems, optical surveillance, and portable electronics often require quick connect and disconnect methods not readily available before the Latching Micro-D[TM] connector.
The new RF MEMS magnetic latching switch technology from Microlab, the world's first micro magnetic latching switch/relay technology, will enable a whole new set of applications for mobile devices.
com, ASX: BLY), the world's leading integrated drilling services and products provider, has released a new underground head assembly featuring patent-pending Roller Latch(TM) technology that allows for greater pump-in speed and productivity while utilizing large ball bearings for latching and hold-back braking to retain inner-tube assemblies in the drill string for safer operations.
Investigation of over 300,000 documents and 40 depositions by the attorneys for Liebold uncovered that a certain type of seatbelt, specifically called "RCF-67" or "Type I" side release buckle is inherently prone to false latching by design.
Partial latching could result in the door being jarred open unexpectedly.
Eberhard Manufacturing Company in Cleveland, OH is a leading manufacturer of locking and latching devices for a wide range of vehicular and industrial end use markets.