un·​plug | \ ˌən-ˈpləg How to pronounce unplug (audio) \
unplugged; unplugging; unplugs

Definition of unplug

transitive verb

1a : to take a plug out of
b : to remove an obstruction from
2a : to remove (a plug, such as an electric plug) from a socket or receptacle
b : to disconnect from an electric circuit by removing a plug unplug the refrigerator

intransitive verb

: to temporarily refrain from using electronic devices (such as computers or smartphones) If you go on a summer vacation, how much are you willing to truly unplug? For many of us, it can be hard to put the phone down.— Ari Shapiro also : to temporarily withdraw from the responsibilities and obligations of everyday life (such as work or home duties) Think of yourself as a human being instead of a human doer and make a conscious effort to unplug and recharge. — Bryan Robinson

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Synonyms & Antonyms for unplug


clear, free, open, unclog, unstop


block, clog (up), close, dam (up), plug (up), stop

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Examples of unplug in a Sentence

I forgot to unplug my guitar from the amp. the chimney should work just fine once it is unplugged and cleaned out

Recent Examples on the Web

When in doubt, unplug it, then plug it back in again. David Pierce, WSJ, "33 Mostly Free Ways to Fix Your Family’s Tech Problems," 23 Dec. 2018 In a new interview with BuzzFeed for her bareMinerals partnership, Hailey opened up about the ways unplugging from her phone ultimately benefits her mental health. Isabella Gomez, Teen Vogue, "Hailey Bieber on Social Media and Self-Care," 12 Jan. 2019 The process is basically the same for the front and rear: Roll down the windows, remove the door check arm, unplug the wiring, drop the two hinge bolts, pull off the limit strap, and lift it free. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "How Long Does It Take to Remove the Doors on a Wrangler?," 31 Dec. 2018 Vinyl record players replace television sets, and a private beach paired with access to the Adventure Garage—home to surfboards, hiking and diving gear, beach toys, and more—encourages guests to unplug during their time in Laguna. Michaela Bechler, Vogue, "You’ll Never Want to Leave Laguna Beach’s Newest Hotel," 17 Aug. 2018 Federal regulators believe oil and gas is leaking from at least one unplugged well. Michael Kunzelman, The Seattle Times, "Company can be ordered to drill to end 14-year-old oil leak," 21 Nov. 2018 Start by unplugging the toaster oven, and taking on the easy-to-dump debris first. Lauren Piro, Good Housekeeping, "The Best Way to Clean Your Toaster Oven," 20 Apr. 2015 Rather than jet-setting, these go-getters are unplugging with projects like building a canoe or writing a book. Carrie Seim, The Seattle Times, "Forget vacation, the hot thing to take is a ‘creative hiatus’," 27 Aug. 2018 Some have unplugged the devices because the cackling became too creepy. Mallorie Sullivan, Cincinnati.com, "Amazon working to fix Alexa after reports of random, 'witch-like' laughter," 7 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'unplug.' 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 unplug

1765, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for unplug

Last Updated

2 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for unplug

The first known use of unplug was in 1765

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More Definitions for unplug



English Language Learners Definition of unplug

: to disconnect (something, such as a lamp or television) from an electrical source or another device by removing its plug

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More from Merriam-Webster on unplug

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with unplug

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unplug

Spanish Central: Translation of unplug

Nglish: Translation of unplug for Spanish Speakers

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