a child who must spend at least part of the day alone and unsupervised, as when the parents are away at work.
Also called door-key child.
Origin of latchkey child
First recorded in 1940–45; so called because such a child is provided with a key for getting into the home after school
Words nearby latchkey child
British Dictionary definitions for latchkey child
a child who has to let himself or herself in at home on returning from school, as his or her parents are out at work