THINK YOU’VE GOT A HANDLE ON THIS US STATE NICKNAME QUIZ?
Origin of plugged-in
Words nearby plugged-in
What does plugged-in mean?
If you’re plugged-in, you’re in the know, in touch with what is going on, and very well-informed. You can also be so plugged in to a task, usually a technological one, to the point where you shut everything else out.
Where does plugged-in come from?
The expression plugged-in comes from the image of an electronic device being plugged in to a socket or circuit. People have been doing and saying this since the beginning of electricity (the early 1900s).
In the 1960s, being plugged-in meant you were knowledgeable about the goings-on of the day. It’s likely the imagery was promoted by the popularization of television, including the heyday of 30-minute nightly network news and hit TV shows like the futuristic Jetsons.
By the 2000s, plugged-in expanded its sense to “hip” and “fashionable,” used for someone who has their finger on the cultural pulse.
It also started narrowing in the 2000s. Like a kid with headphones plugged in to a gaming console, plugged-in came to characterize someone so focused on a task that they tune everything else out around them.
How is plugged-in used in real life?
As an expression, plugged-in is used to describe someone who’s involved in or knowledgeable about some matter, from World Cup stats to hyperlocal community concerns to politics.
— John Alexander (@JAforBennelong) November 22, 2017
LRT: I know sometimes it seems like I'm plugged in 24/7, but let me tell you: nothing on my phone is authorized to give push notifications.
— Alexandra Erin (@AlexandraErin) November 6, 2017
The “in-the-know” meaning of plugged-in has inspired a sub-sense of the phrase.
Keep thinking y’all plugged in. pic.twitter.com/qAqb4vGjdi
— STAR ⭐️ (@Me_No_Love_YOU) June 27, 2018
It’s common to see adults worried that the kids these days are too plugged-in, especially when it comes to their personal technology. If you find that you’re too plugged-in, you should unplug. That modification of the phrase gets lobbed out by self-help advice columnists and health brands a lot.
— Headspace (@Headspace) June 28, 2018
More examples of plugged-in:
“Every day this week—heading into the start of free agency at 12:01 a.m. ET July 1—Bleacher Report will look at every angle of LeBron James’ upcoming decision with reports and features from our most plugged-in NBA reporters.”
—Bleacher Report, June, 2018
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.
Example sentences from the Web for plugged-in
This is a guy who has his son-in-law clean his eyeglasses, for crying out loud.
Her travel clique has been known to arrive at an airport, bags packed, passport-in-hand, within hours of spotting a deal.‘We Out Here’: Inside the New Black Travel Movement|Charlise Ferguson|January 4, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Earl Spencer adds, “Effectively, my great-grandfather sold his children to his father-in-law.”The Real-Life ‘Downton’ Millionairesses Who Changed Britain|Tim Teeman|December 31, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The lack of a gun is not likely to be a major problem for close-in air-to-air dogfights against other jets.
But those weapons are of limited utility, especially during close-in fights.
Such throats are trying, are they not?In case one catches cold; Ah, yes!
The commander-in-chief still kept him attached to the headquarter staff, and constantly employed him on special service.
So far Murat had always held subordinate commands; his great ambition was to become the commander-in-chief of an independent army.
Their jurisdictions overlapped and the Gascon would play second fiddle to no one save to his great brother-in-law.
But the novel disappeared under the clothes with amazing celerity as the voice of her sister-in-law demanded admission.The Pit Town Coronet, Volume I (of 3)|Charles James Wills