Definition of latch on to in English:

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latch on to

1Attach oneself to (someone) as a constant and usually unwelcome companion: he spent the whole evening trying to latch on to my friends
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  • He latches on to Dan one evening, all but inviting himself to the man's home for dinner.
  • As a further sub-plot, we have John meeting an Asian woman who latches on to him and takes photographs constantly - she turns out to be an art student, and takes John clubbing, along with her student pals.
  • She gathers her things and leaves the hospital, followed by the Doctor, who in his confused state latches on to someone he recognizes.
1.1Take up (an idea or trend) enthusiastically: the newspapers latched on to the idea of healthy eating
More example sentences
  • Frustrated by the lack of quick progress on the ground and fading political support at home, Washington is now latching on to the idea that a quick transfer of power to local troops and politicians would make things better.
  • While latching on to the up-country trend, the industry here found itself wrong-footed and woefully short of male dancing talents.
  • By making the states' rights argument, the Republicans had finally latched on to an idea that resonated with conservatives in the South.
1.2British (Of a football or rugby player) take advantage of (another player’s move) when attacking: Nevin latched on to a miscued header to smash home the winning goal
More example sentences
  • The equaliser followed a great passing move, Jonny Greenwood latching on to a through ball from midfield and firing home.
  • Ludovic Giuly beats John Terry for pace and tries to latch on to a long ball played from the back.
  • Just before half-time Arthur Tegemeier pulled a goal back for New Earswick and five minutes into the second half the same player equalised after latching on to a through ball.
1.3(Of one substance) cohere with (another): the DNA chain latches on to its counterpart
More example sentences
  • Each of these groups of molecules contains a unique fatty acid group and a peptidic head group that latches on to iron ions.
  • Some contain a strip of adhesive amino acids that latch on to their cognate sequences like Velcro.
  • These are specialized molecules that can latch on to antigens and help the rest of the immune system eliminate the foreign particle.
2Understand the meaning of (something): [with clause]: she’ll soon latch on to what is happening
More example sentences
  • But hoaxers soon latched on to his story and have been using his name or variations of it ever since to con people into sending them their details.
  • Pupils soon latch on to this, and the spiral of decline suddenly becomes much steeper.
  • Anyone who works or has worked in an office environment will latch on to at least some of what the programme is all about.
See parent entry: latch
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