plug in

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See also: plugin and plug-in



  • (file)


plug in (third-person singular simple present plugs in, present participle plugging in, simple past and past participle plugged in)

  1. (idiomatic) To connect (an electrical device) to a plug socket.
    • 2006 Feb. 17, Graham Linehan, The IT Crowd, Season 1, Episode 4:
      Hello, IT. Have you tried turning it off and turning it on again? Ok. Well, are you sure that it's plugged in?
    • 2020 December 2, Paul Bigland, “My weirdest and wackiest Rover yet”, in Rail, page 65:
      I eschew the idea of plugging in my laptop to take notes and resort to old-fashioned pen and paper instead, so that I can enjoy more of the view and not be distracted by bashing a keyboard.
  2. (idiomatic) To familiarize and integrate (a person) into an organization.
    • 1994 September 22, 'Clinical Evidence' - Fraudulent Medicare Claims in FL (television production), Chris Wallace (actor), ABC:
      The drivers routinely patrol these areas- welfare offices, senior centers, even street corners- asking the Medicare patients to come with them for check-ups in return for cash. [] To get plugged in, we enlisted Lizzie Green, a 75-year-old widow who lives on social security and a small pension. She agreed to be our undercover test patient.
    • 2017 July 15, Dan Barnes, “Dan Barnes: Eskimos survive late scare to remain only unbeaten CFL team”, in Edmonton Journal[1]:
      The Eskimos’ [football team] organizational depth has been tested early and often by a persistent injury bug that has claimed three starters [] and they continue to plug in new players and carry on.
    • c. 2017, Jay Moneta Hunter Thomson, “Membership”, in Wyatt Elementary PTA[2]:
      Research shows that children whose parents are involved in their school make better grades and have fewer disciplinary problems at school. When parents get plugged in at school, their children do better.
  3. (idiomatic, mathematics) To replace a variable with a number in order to solve an equation.
    Synonym: substitute
    If an equation has three unknowns, you can plug in two of them to find the third.


  • (connect an electrical device): unplug

Related terms[edit]