View synonyms for plug


[ pluhg ]


  1. a piece of wood or other material used to stop up a hole or aperture, to fill a gap, or to act as a wedge.
  2. a core or interior segment taken from a larger matrix.
  3. Electricity. a device to which may be attached the conductors of a cord and which by insertion in a jack, or screwing into a receptacle, establishes contact.
  4. a fireplug or hydrant.
  5. a cake of pressed tobacco.
  6. a piece of tobacco cut off for chewing.
  7. Informal. the favorable mention of something, as in a lecture, radio show, etc.; advertisement; recommendation:

    The actress was happy to give her new show a plug.

  8. Angling. an artificial lure made of wood, plastic, or metal, and fitted with one or more gang hooks, used chiefly in casting.
  9. Geology. neck ( def 14 ).
  10. Slang. a worn-out or inferior horse.
  11. Informal. a shopworn or unsalable article.
  12. a small piece of sod used especially for seeding a lawn.
  13. a patch of scalp with viable hair follicles that is used as a graft for a bald part of the head. Compare hair transplant.
  14. Metalworking.
    1. a mandrel on which tubes are formed.
    2. a punch on which a cup is drawn.
    3. a protrusion on a forging die for forming a recess in the work.
    4. a false bottom on a die.
  15. Also called dook. a small piece of wood inserted into masonry as a hold for a nail.
  16. Masonry. plug and feathers
  17. Also called plug hat. a man's tall silk hat.

verb (used with object)

, plugged, plug·ging.
  1. to stop or fill with or as if with a plug (often followed by up ):

    to plug up a leak; plug a gap.

  2. to insert or drive a plug into.
  3. to secure with or as if with a plug.
  4. to insert (something) as a plug.
  5. to remove a core or a small plug-shaped piece from.
  6. to remove the center of (a coin) and replace it with a baser metal:

    a plugged nickel.

  7. Informal. to mention (something) favorably, as in a lecture, radio show, etc.:

    He says he will appear if he can plug his new TV series.

  8. Slang. to punch with the fist.
  9. Slang. to shoot or strike with a bullet.

verb (used without object)

, plugged, plug·ging.
  1. to work with stubborn persistence (often followed by along or away ):

    You're doing a fine job—just keep plugging. Some writers will plug away at the same novel for several years.

  2. Informal. to publicize insistently:

    Whenever he gets the chance, he's plugging for his company.

  3. Slang. to shoot or fire shots.

verb phrase

    1. to connect to an electrical power source:

      Plug the TV set in over there.

    2. Informal. to add or include; incorporate:

      They still have to plug in more research data.

  1. to become plugged:

    The drain in the sink plugs up every so often.

    1. to connect or become connected by or as if by means of a plug:

      The device will plug into any convenient wall outlet. The proposed new departments would eventually plug into the overall organizational plan.

    2. Informal. to feel an affinity for; like; understand:

      Some kids just don't plug into sports in school.


/ plʌɡ /


  1. a piece of wood, cork, or other material, often cylindrical in shape, used to stop up holes and gaps or as a wedge for taking a screw or nail
  2. such a stopper used esp to close the waste pipe of a bath, basin, or sink while it is in use and removed to let the water drain away
  3. a device having one or more pins to which an electric cable is attached: used to make an electrical connection when inserted into a socket
  4. Also calledvolcanic plug a mass of solidified magma filling the neck of an extinct volcano
    1. a cake of pressed or twisted tobacco, esp for chewing
    2. a small piece of such a cake
  5. angling a weighted artificial lure with one or more sets of hooks attached, used in spinning
  6. a seedling with its roots encased in potting compost, grown in a tray with compartments for each individual plant
  7. informal.
    a recommendation or other favourable mention of a product, show, etc, as on television, on radio, or in newspapers
  8. slang.
    a shot, blow, or punch (esp in the phrase take a plug at )
  9. informal.
    the mechanism that releases water to flush a lavatory (esp in the phrase pull the plug )
  10. an old horse
  11. pull the plug on informal.
    to put a stop to


  1. tr to stop up or secure (a hole, gap, etc) with or as if with a plug
  2. tr to insert or use (something) as a plug

    to plug a finger into one's ear

  3. informal.
    tr to make favourable and often-repeated mentions of (a song, product, show, etc), esp on television, on radio, or in newspapers
  4. slang.
    tr to shoot with a gun

    he plugged six rabbits

  5. slang.
    tr to punch or strike
  6. informal.
    intr; foll by along, away, etc to work steadily or persistently

Discover More

Derived Forms

  • ˈplugger, noun

Discover More

Other Words From

  • plugga·ble adjective
  • plugging·ly adverb
  • plugless adjective
  • pluglike adjective

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of plug1

1620–30; < Dutch; cognate with German Pflock

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of plug1

C17: from Middle Dutch plugge; related to Middle Low German plugge, German Pflock

Discover More

Idioms and Phrases

  1. pull the plug on, Informal.
    1. to discontinue or terminate:

      The government has threatened to pull the plug on further subsidies.

    2. to disconnect life-sustaining equipment from (a moribund patient).

More idioms and phrases containing plug

In addition to the idiom beginning with plug , also see peg (plug) away at ; pull the plug on .

Discover More

Example Sentences

The end result is that this solution is incredibly less plug-and-play for game developers, and developers will have to integrate their payment systems with Apple’s in-app purchase frameworks.

Except, late into Friday night, Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes suddenly pulled the plug on the Saturday event.

From Ozy

Meanwhile, a board of experienced investors guides their progress—and can pull the plug if that progress is too slow.

From Fortune

“That was really the spark plug,” Merlo said in an interview this month.

From Fortune

The other thing I will say, this is a little plug to the public, that if people would just listen to what they’re being told in terms of, you know, stay at home as much as you can, wearing masks when you’re out, social distancing.

TLC promptly pulled the plug on the hit series and Shannon embarked on a press tour denying the claims.

Just plug it into any TV and get watching—no need to schedule an installation.

And then I reach into my pocket and plug in another quarter.

How long did you see Hello Ladies going prior to HBO pulling the plug?

She recalls a particularly traumatic conversation with a HBO executive soon after the plug was pulled on The Comeback.

"Let's fight them," said Dan, taking out his plug of tobacco and holding it until a decision was made.

"All right," said Dan, biting off a big chew from the plug he was holding, and restoring the rest to his pocket.

If the decision had been against a fight, Dan would have put the plug back without taking a chew.

A connecting rod worked a balance-beam, which worked the air-pump, feed-pump, and plug-rod for moving the valves.

A piece of iron sticking out from the cross-head carried the plug-rod for working the gear-handles.


Related Words

Discover More

About This Word

What else does plug mean?

Content warning: this article references illegal and illicit drugs.

A plug (or the plug) is a person who has the ability to get or supply hard-to-find items, especially drugs.

Where does plug come from?

The word plug made its way into the English language, likely from Dutch, as far back as the 1620s. It was a word used by sailors, as plugs can be quite useful on a boat in leaky situations.

In the 1880s, plug gained its electrical sense, referring to an outlet and electrical connection instead of just a stopper. In the 1930s, we see the word connection emerge as slang for an illegal drug supplier, the person connecting the drugs themselves to the sellers and users. This notion of connection appears to influence the slang sense of plug for a drug seller in the early 2000s.

In 2014, 50 Cent’s G Unit released “The Plug,” which boasts about being a drug hookup, or the plug.

Well, if you need that, then get at me

I’m the plug

Dope, coke, crack, man get at me

I’m the plug”

While the slang plug initially and especially refers to linking people together for drug-related transactions, plug spread by the 2010s for a source of any rare or desirable item.

How is plug used in real life?

Outside of everyday uses of plugs such as electrical plugs and plugging holes, plug is youth slang for a supplier of sought-after products, ranging from designer shoes and event tickets …

… to drugs, whether scored from small-time dealers or big-time suppliers.

Of course, we’d be remiss not to point out that plug is also a popular informal term meaning “to publicize something or someone insistently.”

More examples of plug:

“Skepta’s Clothing Brand Mains is Finally Available…Who’s Got the Plug?”
The Drop Date (headline), June 2017


This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




pluckyplug and feathers