latch

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latch on

1. To fasten, attach, or hold tightly on (to someone or something). Be careful around that animal—if it latches on with its teeth, it won't let go. My son latched on to my arm when the movie became too intense for her.
2. To fasten or attach something to someone or something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "latch" and "on." I just need to latch the trailer on the truck, and we'll be ready to go. Once you latch the antenna on, we should be able to communicate to the control tower.
3. To begin to comprehend, understand, or make sense of something. Once he latched on to the instructions in the manual, he was able to complete the repair. He's explained it twice already, but I'm still having trouble latching on.
4. To become fixated on or accepting of some idea, notion, or belief. I don't know why he's latched on to this idea of moving to Canada, but he seems dead set on it now. I'll try to get the rest of the board members to latch on if you can show some data to back up your plan.
5. To become closely involved or associated with a person or group. I was friendly with one guy during our orientation for the graduate program, but then he latched on and started following me around campus for the rest of the day. Tom's really latched on to the local rowing club.
See also: latch, on

latch on to (someone or something)

1. To fasten, attach, or hold tightly on to someone or something. Be careful around that animal—if it latches on to you with its teeth, it won't let go. My son latched on to my arm when the movie became too intense for him.
2. To fasten or attach something to someone or something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "latch" and "on." I just need to latch the trailer on to the back of the truck, and we'll be ready to go. Once you latch the power coupling on to the radio, we should be able to communicate to the control tower.
3. To begin to comprehend, understand, or make sense of something. Once he latched on to the instructions in the manual, he was able to complete the repair. He's explained it twice already, but I'm still having trouble latching on to what he means.
4. To become fixated on or accepting of some idea, notion, or belief. I don't know why he's latched on to this idea of moving to Canada, but he seems dead set on it now. I'll try to get the rest of the board members to latch on to your plan if you can show some more data to back it up.
5. To become closely involved or associated with a group or activity. I'm so happy to see Mary latching on to track and field like she has. Tom's really latched on to the local rowing club.
6. To remain persistently or desperately in someone else's company. My annoying little brother always latches on to me and my friends whenever we're hanging out together. This guy I met during our college orientation latched on to me for the rest of the day.
See also: latch, on, to

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

latchkey child

A child who is home alone after school or in general because their parents or guardians are at 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 child who is home alone after school or in general because their parents or guardians are at 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

on the latch

Of a door, closed but not locked. Primarily heard in UK. In the small village where I grew up, you knew everyone around you, so everyone left their doors on the latch.
See also: latch, on

the latch string is always out

old-fashioned You are always welcome to come and visit. Be sure to call around if you're ever in the area—the latch string's always out. I know you've been going through some tough times lately, so if you ever need someone to talk to, I want you to know that the latch string is always out.
See also: always, latch, out, string
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

on the ˈlatch

(British English) closed but not locked: Can you leave the door on the latch so I can get in?
See also: latch, on
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

latch

on to/onto
1. To get hold of; obtain: latched on to a fortune in the fur trade.
2. To cling to.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
But then you have no good way to keep the two half-doors latched. They swing back and forth, get in the way, and can catch on something and be damaged.
Once closed, the latched pawl stays firmly engaged and able to withstand a heavy load, regardless of the latch handle position.
When the voltage exceeds the CR threshold, the controller enters the current regulation mode, holding the current at the programmed level until either the OC event passes, in which case the MOSFET is again fully enhanced and the C(TIM) capacitor is discharged, or the programmed time out period expires, in which case both the FETs are latched off.
Crank the antenna all the way up until the elevation handcrank hits the mechanical stops and then back up the handle until it can be latched. If you do get a Fault, make sure the antenna is all the way up before you do any other troubleshooting.
If the cover latches aren't latched, the cover bounces around during travel and damages the screen.
It features a spring-loaded pawl that keeps constant force on the frame when latched to resist vibration and allow for grip tolerances.
Sometimes you think the arms are latched when they're not.