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See more synonyms for plug-in on Thesaurus.com
  1. 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.
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  1. plug(def 3).
  2. jack1(def 3).
  3. a plug-in appliance.
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Origin of plug-in

First recorded in 1920–25; adj., noun use of verb phrase plug in
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Examples from the Web for plug-in

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • He climbed into the snapper-boat and hunted for the plug-in terminal.

  • He surveyed a big switchboard and picked out an outlet marked "Pons Varolis for the plug-in."

    The Brain

    Alexander Blade

Word Origin and History for plug-in


1922, from plug (v.) + in (adv.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

plug-in in Science


  1. 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.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.