\ˈpləg-ˌin \

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


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

Gideon plays both tackle and center for Ryle and could be plugged in anywhere on the offensive line at the next level. John Snodgrass,, "Recruiting Trail: CDA's Prohaska to Auburn, Moeller's Davenport reclassifies," 30 Apr. 2018 Whoever plugs in at left guard won't have all that much live experience, though will benefit from working next to Kalil at center. Jourdan Rodrigue, charlotteobserver, "Panthers didn't draft interior offensive linemen. Here's their plan to fill that gap. | Charlotte Observer," 29 Apr. 2018 Frustratingly, there is no way to check the battery level when the battery is plugged in. Vjeran Pavic, The Verge, "Parrot Anafi drone review: flying high, but falling short," 2 July 2018 Jim Nelson and Mike De Sisti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel The building is virtually complete, and the new Milwaukee Bucks arena is fully plugged in — including all 850 flat panel televisions that were jumping with action Wednesday afternoon. James B. Nelson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee Bucks fire up 850 TVs and enormous scoreboard at their new basketball arena," 27 June 2018 Powered by a lithium-ion battery that recharges automatically as soon as the tool is plugged in, the GPS can function continuously for weeks at a stretch. Timothy Dahl, Popular Mechanics, "With GPS Tracking, You'll Always Know Where Your Breaker Hammer Is," 8 Feb. 2018 Others simply plug in to existing standard electrical outlets. The Editors Of House Beautiful, House Beautiful, "How to Install a Smoke Detector," 12 Feb. 2015 The corn of Vegas still loomed over some sections that reminded us Twain isn’t as plugged in to 2018 as say, Beyoncé. Dan Weiss,, "Shania Twain is still a rock star at the Wells Fargo Center," 13 July 2018 Plume also has a fourth node plugged in at the back wall of the upstairs master bedroom. Jim Salter, Ars Technica, "Exclusive: Plume’s new “Superpod” hardware is here—and it’s fast," 12 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

Look-up Popularity

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

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).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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