Idioms

    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).

Origin of plug

1620–30; < Dutch; cognate with German Pflock

Related forms

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

British Dictionary definitions for pull the plug on

plug

/ (plʌɡ) /

noun

verb plugs, plugging or plugged

Derived Forms

plugger, 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

Medicine definitions for pull the plug on

plug

[ plŭg ]

n.

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

v.

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 pull the plug on (1 of 2)

pull the plug on


1

Discontinue, end, as in The government pulled the plug on that program. [First half of 1900s]

2

Remove all life-supporting equipment, as in The family debated whether it was time to pull the plug on him. [Second half of 1900s] Although this idiom undoubtedly alludes to cutting off electricity to an electrical device, it originally referred to the removal of a stopper that flushed an old-style toilet.

Idioms and Phrases with pull the plug on (2 of 2)

plug


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.