I am looking for the proper English name of the little hole in door frames where the latch goes in. Specifically, I want to know what that hole is called for "indoor" doors, without a lock, e.g. the door to a bedroom. Please note that I want to refer to the hole itself, not to the metal plate surrounding it.

Is there a term in common use, as opposed to a professional term? For example, "I got my finger stuck in the ....". Even if there's not one word to describe it, how would a native English speaker finish that sentence?

Here's a picture of what I'm talking about:

door frame hole


4 Answers 4


The hole itself is a mortise which is:

a hole or recess cut into a part, designed to receive a corresponding projection (a tenon) on another part so as to join or lock the parts together.

Example: The picture shows the strikeplate installed over the mortise.

More commonly though, strikeplate hole would likely be more widely understood.


I'll gladly yield to any professional carpenters. But to the best of my knowledge, the only name for this is "the hole in the strike plate".

The hole on the other side, that is, the hole in the door that the bolt slides through, is called the "edge bore". But I don't know of any corresponding term for the hole in the door frame.

(But if you look at the last door that I installed, you will quickly see that I am not a professional carpenter. :-)


That is the door jamb

A jamb (from French jambe, "leg"),[1] in architecture, is the side-post or lining of a doorway or other aperture. The jambs of a window outside the frame are called “reveals.” Small shafts to doors and windows with caps and bases are known as “jamb-shafts”; when in the inside arris of the jamb of a window they are sometimes called "scoinsons."

A doorjamb, door jamb (also sometimes doorpost) is the vertical portion of the door frame onto which a door is secured.[2] The jamb bears the weight of the door through its hinges, and most types of door latches and deadbolts extend into a recess in the doorjamb when engaged, making the accuracy of the plumb (i.e. true vertical) and strength of the doorjambs vitally important to the overall operational durability and security of the door.


  • Thanks, "recess in the doorjamb" seems like what I was looking for, upvoted.
    – Eugene O
    Commented Mar 2, 2020 at 18:27
  • This answer is incorrect. The question asks what the "hole" is called. The hole is in the door jamb (the vertical portion of the frame that the door fits into), but calling this recess a "door jamb" is as incorrect as calling the hole in a golf course (the hole you hit the golf ball into) a "green", or calling a pothole "the road". Commented Jan 8, 2021 at 4:51

I found a term on another website that referred to a "box", and I think that is what the doorframe hole may be called.

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