\ ˈpləg-ˌin How to pronounce plug-in (audio) \

Definition of plug-in

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: designed to be connected to an electric circuit by plugging in a plug-in toy a plug-in circuit board



Definition of plug-in (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : something that plugs in
2 : a small piece of software that supplements a larger program (such as a browser)

plug in

plugged in; plugging in; plugs in

Definition of plug in (Entry 3 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to establish an electric circuit by inserting a plug

transitive verb

: to attach or connect to an electric receptacle (such as an outlet)

Examples of plug-in in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But these bits of background have the paradoxical effect of seeming both too short and too long—too substantial to be merely illustrative, too evocative of a wide range of experiences to be plugged in as background. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "“Rolling Thunder Revue,” Reviewed: Martin Scorsese’s Slippery Chronicle of Bob Dylan in Concert," 14 June 2019 Despaigne, 32, has been plugged in to start tonight’s series opener against the Nationals, a move that was expected after the Sox placed Dylan Covey on the injured list Sunday with right shoulder inflammation. Phil Thompson,, "White Sox call up Odrisamer Despaigne to start against the Nationals and release Nicky Delmonico," 10 June 2019 Our over-extended to-do list, stresses with work or family, technology that keeps us plugged in 24/7, not to mention the stuff swirling through our heads from the day, all work against us in our quest for better sleep. Molly Kimball,, "Is sleep apnea sabotaging your weight loss? Best of Molly Kimball," 4 June 2019 For whatever reason, our phones usually end up somewhere near our pillow, plugged in and charging overnight for the day to come. Nesa Mangal, Good Housekeeping, "These Scary Photos Will Convince You to Stop Sleeping With Your Cell Phone," 19 Feb. 2016 Just plug in preferences—ideal trip length, preferred month of travel, destination—and let the flight deals appear in your inbox. Condé Nast Traveler, "'Travel Deal Tuesday' Is Like Black Friday for Flights," 12 Nov. 2018 Families plug in financial information such as their latest tax returns, as well as savings, investment and other asset information. Cheryl Winokur Munk, WSJ, "Early Admission’s Effect on Financial Aid," 19 Oct. 2018 That said, these speakers are extremely simple to set up—just plug in the USB port and connect them to a laptop/monitor with a 3.5mm cable. Jeff Dunn, Ars Technica, "The Ars Technica Back to School buying guide," 13 Aug. 2018 The blaze began at an electrical socket where an old refrigerator was plugged in near the garage, according to Hery. Michelle Hunter,, "2 escape unharmed from fire at Old Jefferson home Thursday," 16 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'plug-in.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of plug-in


1922, in the meaning defined above


1946, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1903, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

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Dictionary Entries near plug-in


plug hat



plug in

plug key


Statistics for plug-in

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Time Traveler for plug-in

The first known use of plug-in was in 1903

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More Definitions for plug-in



English Language Learners Definition of plug-in

computers : a small piece of software that adds a feature to a larger program or makes a program work better

More from Merriam-Webster on plug-in

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with plug-in

Nglish: Translation of plug-in for Spanish Speakers

Comments on plug-in

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