I. latch 1 /lætʃ/ BrE AmE noun [countable]
1 . a small metal or plastic object used to keep a door, gate, or window closed:
Gwen lifted the latch and opened the gate.
2 . especially British English a type of lock for a door that you can open from the inside by turning a handle, but that you need a key to open from the outside
on the latch (=shut but not locked)
Ray went out, leaving the door on the latch.
II. latch 2 BrE AmE verb [transitive]
[ Language: Old English ; Origin: læccan ]
to fasten a door, gate, or window with a latch
latch on phrasal verb
British English informal to understand:
He’s so thick it took him ages to latch on.
latch onto somebody/something ( also latch on to somebody/something ) phrasal verb informal
1 . to become very interested in something:
Don’t just latch on to the latest management fads.
2 . to follow someone and keep trying to talk to them, get their attention etc, especially when they would prefer to be left alone:
He latched onto Sandy at the party and wouldn’t go away.
3 . to hold tightly to something with your hand, mouth etc:
a baby latching on to its mother’s breast