[ pluhg-in ]
/ ˈplʌgˌɪn /


capable of or designed for being connected to an electrical power source by plugging in or inserting: a plug-in hair dryer; a plug-in transistor.


a plug-in appliance.

Nearby words

  1. plug gauge,
  2. plug hat,
  3. plug in,
  4. plug-and-play,
  5. plug-compatible,
  6. plug-ugly,
  7. plugboard,
  8. plugged,
  9. plugged in, be,
  10. plugged-in

Origin of plug-in

First recorded in 1920–25; adj., noun use of verb phrase plug in

Origin of plug

1620–30; < Dutch; cognate with German Pflock

Related formsplug·ga·ble, adjectiveplug·ging·ly, adverbplug·less, adjectiveplug·like, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for plug in

plug in


(tr, adverb) to connect (an electrical appliance) with a power source by means of an electrical plug

noun plug-in

a device that can be connected by means of a plug
computing a module or piece of software that can be added to a system to provide extra functions or features, esp software that enhances the capabilities of a web browser
computing (as modifier)plug-in memory cards


/ (plʌɡ) /


verb plugs, plugging or plugged

Derived Formsplugger, noun

Word Origin for plug

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

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for plug in
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for plug in


[ plŭg ]


A dense mass of material filling a hole or closing an orifice.


To fill tightly with a plug.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for plug in


[ plŭgĭn′ ]

An accessory software or hardware package that is used in conjunction with an existing application or device to extend its capabilities or provide additional functions.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with plug in


In addition to the idiom beginning with plug

  • plug away at
  • plugged in, be

also see:

  • peg (plug) away at
  • pull the plug on
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.