\ 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

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 One downside: The HS110 is bulky, taking up both plugs in a two-jack outlet. Ian Paul, PCWorld, "Automate your basic devices with two TP-Link smart plugs for $25," 23 Oct. 2018 Like cellphones, expect to plug in your watch every night. David Lazarus, The Seattle Times, "8 great smartwatch picks (that aren’t Apple)," 7 Jan. 2019 To start, let’s address the dongle-sized elephant in the room: right now, Apple sells three different classes of computing devices — phone, tablet, and computer — and all three offer different physical connectors to plug in a pair of headphones. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "Adding USB-C to the iPad isn’t enough to fix Apple’s messy port strategy," 31 Oct. 2018 With the Country Music Association's annual CMA Music Festival set for June 7-10, perhaps no act is finding more ways to plug in than Florida Georgia Line. Tom Roland, Billboard, "CMA Music Festival Tees Up Plenty of FGL, a Byrds Classic, Sony/ATV Showcases & a Live 'Bones' Broadcast," 6 June 2018

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

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


to speak slightingly about or to degrade

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