adjective Informal.

closely connected; in touch with what is going on; informed; involved: He's one of the more plugged-in advisers at State House.

Origin of plugged-in

1955–60, for literal sense




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.
a core or interior segment taken from a larger matrix.
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.
a fireplug or hydrant.
a cake of pressed tobacco.
a piece of tobacco cut off for chewing.
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.
Angling. an artificial lure made of wood, plastic, or metal, and fitted with one or more gang hooks, used chiefly in casting.
Geology. neck(def 14).
Slang. a worn-out or inferior horse.
Informal. a shopworn or unsalable article.
a small piece of sod used especially for seeding a lawn.
a patch of scalp with viable hair follicles that is used as a graft for a bald part of the head.Compare hair transplant.
Slang. punch1(def 1).
  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.
Also called dook. a small piece of wood inserted into masonry as a hold for a nail.
Masonry. See under plug and feathers.
Also called plug hat. a man's tall silk hat.

verb (used with object), plugged, plug·ging.

to stop or fill with or as if with a plug (often followed by up): to plug up a leak; plug a gap.
to insert or drive a plug into.
to secure with or as if with a plug.
to insert (something) as a plug.
to remove a core or a small plug-shaped piece from.
to remove the center of (a coin) and replace it with a baser metal: a plugged nickel.
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.
Slang. to punch with the fist.
Slang. to shoot or strike with a bullet.

verb (used without object), plugged, plug·ging.

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.
Informal. to publicize insistently: Whenever he gets the chance, he's plugging for his company.
Slang. to shoot or fire shots.

Verb Phrases

plug in,
  1. to connect to an electrical power source: Plug the TV set in over there.
  2. add or include; incorporate: They still have to plug in more research data.
plug into,
  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. feel an affinity for; like; understand: Some kids just don't plug into sports in school.
plug up, to become plugged: The drain in the sink plugs up every so often.

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 plugged in



slang up-to-date; abreast of the times



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
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
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
Also called: volcanic 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
angling a weighted artificial lure with one or more sets of hooks attached, used in spinning
a seedling with its roots encased in potting compost, grown in a tray with compartments for each individual plant
informal a recommendation or other favourable mention of a product, show, etc, as on television, on radio, or in newspapers
slang a shot, blow, or punch (esp in the phrase take a plug at)
informal the mechanism that releases water to flush a lavatory (esp in the phrase pull the plug)
mainly US an old horse
pull the plug on informal to put a stop to

verb plugs, plugging or plugged

(tr) to stop up or secure (a hole, gap, etc) with or as if with a plug
(tr) to insert or use (something) as a plugto plug a finger into one's ear
(tr) informal to make favourable and often-repeated mentions of (a song, product, show, etc), esp on television, on radio, or in newspapers
(tr) slang to shoot with a gunhe plugged six rabbits
(tr) slang to punch or strike
(intr; foll by along, away, etc) informal to work steadily or persistently
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 plugged in



1620s, originally a seamen's term, probably from Dutch plug, Middle Dutch plugge "bung, stopper," related to Norwegian plugg, Danish pløg, North Frisian plaak, Middle Low German pluck, German Pflock; ultimate origin uncertain. Irish and Gaelic words are from English. Sense of "wad or stick of tobacco" is attested from 1728, based on resemblance. Electrical sense is from 1883, based on being inserted; meaning "sparking device in an internal combustion engine" is from 1886. Meaning "advertisement" first recorded 1902, American English, perhaps from verb sense "work energetically at" (c.1865).



"close tightly (a hole), fill," 1620s, from plug (n.) or from Dutch pluggen. Meaning "work energetically at" is c.1865. Sense of "popularize by repetition" is from 1906. Slang sense "put a bullet into" is recorded from 1870. Related: Plugged; plugging.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

plugged in in Medicine




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.

Idioms and Phrases with plugged 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.