Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

pull the plug

Definition of pull the plug

  1. 1 :  to remove the electric plug that is at the end of the cord attached to something (such as a lamp or television) from the outlet <The only way to turn the machine off is to pull the plug.>

  2. 2 informal :  to turn off the machine that is keeping a very sick or injured person alive and allow that person to die <Only his wife can decide to pull the plug.>

  3. 3 :  to allow or cause something to end by stopping the money or support that is needed for it —usually + on <At the end of the season, the network is pulling the plug on the show.>

Word by Word Definitions

  1. :  to exert force upon so as to cause or tend to cause motion toward the force

    :  to stretch (cooling candy) repeatedly

    :  to strain abnormally

  1. :  the act or an instance of pulling

    :  a draft of liquid

    :  an inhalation of smoke

  1. :  a piece used to fill a hole :  stopper

    :  an obtruding or obstructing mass of material resembling a stopper

    :  a flat compressed cake of tobacco

  1. :  to stop, make tight, or secure by inserting a plug

    :  to remedy (a deficiency) as if by inserting a plug

    :  to hit with a bullet :  shoot

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up pull the plug? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


of, relating to, or near a shore

Get Word of the Day daily email!