Definition of plug in English:



  • 1A piece of solid material fitting tightly into a hole and blocking it up.

    ‘somewhere in the pipes there is a plug of ice blocking the flow’
    • ‘My advice, come lunchtime, is look for a wheatsheaf painted beside a door and find yourself a bouchon, the traditional Lyonnais bistro named after the straw plugs once used as bottle-stoppers.’
    • ‘Lifting cables, each capable of carrying 900 tonnes, will subsequently be lowered from the pontoon and secured in the holes with steel plugs.’
    • ‘In more complex cases, your options range from adult diapers to urethral plugs or from surgery to hormone therapy for menopausal women.’
    • ‘That is a flow rate of 205 liters per minute which is proven to be sufficient to expel a solid foreign body or mucous plugs.’
    • ‘Remove enough of the gypsum from this piece so that you are left with a plug the size of the hole and a paper brim that will cover the bare gypsum.’
    • ‘The purpose of most acne medicines is to stop plugs from forming in hair follicles and to reduce swelling in your skin.’
    • ‘A small cotton plug moistened with the drops can be used to help retain the drops in the ear if the patient cannot lie still long enough to allow absorption.’
    • ‘Wherever there is an injury to the blood vessel, clotting factors in the blood come into play, and the wound is sealed by a fibrin plug otherwise called a clot.’
    • ‘You can cork it with a run-of-the mill wine cork or, if you want to get fancy, you can buy a rubber plugs from the hardware store.’
    • ‘The tube was closed at the top with an aluminium plug with a centre mark to define the station.’
    • ‘He or she grasps it with a hemostat and guides the bone plug into the femoral socket.’
    • ‘To reduce the possibility of a graft construct mismatch, the surgeon places the longer bone plug on the femoral side.’
    • ‘Locking lugs on the bolt are removed, turning it into a striker, while the breech is sealed with a breech plug.’
    • ‘I'm short, clumsy and I consume vast amounts of coke and ice cream, which even as we speak are forming plugs in all my major arteries, therefore ensuring that I have little chance of living past the age of forty.’
    • ‘The spigot stem had an annular cutting edge to cut a cylindrical plug out of the bung or stopper by twisting the spigot.’
    • ‘Custom-fitted earplugs are best, but foam rubber or wax plugs can also work.’
    • ‘Maintenance is likewise the same as other bolt-action muzzleloaders since the 10ML-II now has a removable breech plug.’
    • ‘Continuing down this passageway, one enters the Ascending Corridor at a point past the blocking plugs that once sealed the entrance to the tomb.’
    • ‘Biomedical engineers picked up the trend, making plastic plugs to replace pieces of damaged bone.’
    • ‘Most often the blockage occurs in the urethra after a stone or a mixture of crystal, mucus, and other organic material forms a plug.’
    stopper, bung, cork, seal, spigot, spile
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A circular piece of metal, rubber, or plastic used to stop the plughole of a bath or basin and keep the water in it.
      ‘she pulled out the plug and got out on to the sodden bath mat’
      • ‘The two-year-old had been sharing a bath with her eight-year-old sister Chloe when she suddenly pulled out the plug and stuck her finger down the plughole.’
      • ‘But when I was a kid I thought that if you took the plug out of the bath while you were still in it you would be sucked down with the water.’
      • ‘Then, when you're done, you pull out the plug and the water runs away.’
      • ‘It seemed to work, after filling both sinks and the bath, pulling all the plugs at the same time, all the water disappeared in reasonably quick time.’
      • ‘Along the way you'll encounter bath plugs, rubber ducks and get the obligatory soaking from intermittent showers.’
      • ‘I removed the drain plug and water began pouring out.’
      • ‘My bath in Japan had a rubber ball instead of a plug.’
      • ‘Everything that looks gold - from ceilings to bath plugs - is gold.’
      • ‘There was the sudden sound of water flooding into a drain as somewhere nearby a plug was pulled from a sink.’
      • ‘She also said bottled water on the ward was now available to patients, sinks had been fitted with plugs, and new bathmats had been brought in.’
      • ‘We didn't have a plug in the bath, and the shower attachment couldn't be… attached.’
      • ‘A selection of 3 or 4 different sized bath plugs - how many Spanish hotels don't have them and require a deposit to get one?’
      • ‘Its rather like pouring water into a bath without putting the plug in.’
      • ‘Often there is hot water but never a plug for the washbasin.’
      • ‘So the tap had to be turned on as well as the plug put in the bath.’
      • ‘So I made my own, with a piece of cardboard and a sink plug.’
      • ‘Can't comment on the ladies, but the gents did not smell very fresh and lacked a plug to the hand basin.’
      • ‘This wastes more that five litres every minute; turning the tap off or putting the plug in the basin will cut the amount of water used, and lost during these tasks.’
      • ‘There are no plugs for the bath or basin and the shower fitting does not fit the shower.’
      • ‘The government is preparing to throw an extra £19 billion away over the next four years stuffing the NHS with extra cash - like trying to run a bath with the plug out.’
      stopper, stop, bung, peg, spigot, spile, seal
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2North American informal A baby's dummy.
    3. 1.3 A mass of solidified lava filling the neck of a volcano.
      • ‘The landscape to the south is an array of volcanic plugs and glacial gouging.’
      • ‘Geological Survey crews also observed a shift in the crater floor and on part of the 1,000-foot lava dome that essentially serves as a plug for magma, he said.’
      • ‘For the first time in nearly a half century, puffins are returning to Ailsa Craig, a plug of volcanic rock off the west coast of Scotland.’
      • ‘The landscape is scarred with great lumps of lava, volcanic plugs and long screes of volcanic soil, and there is also a vast barren sandy valley.’
      • ‘Unless the volcano beneath the castle blows its plug, Oloroso will always be an extremely nice place to be.’
      pillar, column
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4 (in gardening) a young plant or clump of grass with a small mass of soil protecting its roots, for planting out.
      • ‘An inexpensive way to start a new warm-season lawn or patch an existing one is to plant plugs or sprigs in late spring to early summer.’
      • ‘I plan to put a little topsoil and St. Augustine grass plugs in these bare spots.’
      • ‘This year all the bedding plants were in plugs and this method enhances quick take up on growth when transplanted.’
      • ‘Usually buy these as 50p plugs (baby plants) and grow them on.’
      • ‘You can buy 10 plugs for £3 from a wholesaler and grow them on, or spend £4.50 and get a good single specimen of a herbaceous perennial that will be really doing its stuff at this time of year.’
  • 2A device for making an electrical connection between an appliance and the mains, consisting of an insulated casing with metal pins that fit into holes in a socket.

    ‘the cable is fitted with a two-pin plug’
    • ‘That includes manuals in various languages, cables and electric plugs for different countries.’
    • ‘And he takes the plug and he plugs it into the generator.’
    • ‘The quick-thinking mum also pulled all plugs from electric sockets in the house.’
    • ‘That the light boxes were encased in modest plywood and hooked up to the gallery's electrical outlets with ordinary plugs and extension cords didn't detract from the magic.’
    • ‘The multimedia connector comes with plugs for your Firewire devices, microphone and speakers.’
    • ‘Eventually I bent one of the pins in the keyboard plug and it had to go.’
    • ‘Use only three-wire extension cords for appliances with three-prong plugs.’
    • ‘My TV system alone requires 8 plugs… and hence the smoke alarm!’
    • ‘The stock cables had black plastic 3.5mm plugs and much thinner wire.’
    • ‘Try not to use extension leads and adaptor plugs; ideally each appliance should be plugged into its own socket.’
    • ‘The company, which sells electrical wiring, plugs, sockets, switches, fans and heaters, is never going to be the sparkiest investment.’
    • ‘I started going round the flat, checking all the points and taking all the plugs out of the wall.’
    • ‘And it was a Watchdog campaign that led to electrical appliances being sold with fitted plugs.’
    • ‘I had recently injured my foot by stepping on a laptop plug.’
    • ‘Transformers that will be used outside (as almost all will!) really need a 3-prong plug.’
    1. 2.1 A socket into which an electric plug can be fitted.
      ‘the vacuum cleaner cord snaked away to a hidden plug’
      • ‘An inverter module with a cigarette lighter plug on it would allow the things to be used in cars, boats, and RVs.’
      • ‘They are often placed behind light fittings or plugs.’
      • ‘It's a great idea because even older homes usually have a phone jack and several electrical plugs in each room.’
      • ‘Then I found it was plugged into a plug under the sink.’
      • ‘Inventor Adrian Oldham has designed a gadget aimed at preventing children playing with plugs and electric sockets.’
      • ‘Do you think that uncovered plugs and switches pose a hazard, or is that being too picky?’
    2. 2.2
      short for spark plug
      • ‘Consulting the spark plug manufacturers regarding the plug's heat range can be of great help.’
      • ‘The merger, however, also gave the group the chance to compare notes with their Daimler colleagues, specifically about the use of two plugs per cylinder.’
      • ‘I immediately changed the oil (single most important maintenance task) plugs, distributor cap, rotor arm, and friendly independent VW specialist fixed the exhaust.’
      • ‘The timing was checked by turning the engine by hand with the plugs out to see if the rotor turns.’
      • ‘This tells me that both plugs are fired on each cylinder at the same time, but the plugs on each cylinder are fired by two different coils.’
  • 3informal A piece of publicity promoting a product, event, or establishment.

    ‘he threw in a plug, boasting that the restaurant offered many entrées for under £5’
    • ‘What about dumping the crazy-young-doing-crazy-stuff style adverts that dominate on TV today and turning instead to the creation of simple plugs for brands of dry sherry and short breaks to Madeira?’
    • ‘I never wanted my blog to be a place where I make shameful plugs for products.’
    • ‘Of course, I had to get that little plug in there for my big bosses.’
    • ‘Last weekend, stunned listeners were treated to a plug for a piece by a former Supreme Court judge.’
    • ‘Media outlets are filled with ads, commercial plugs and vapid - or corrosive - content leaving the impression that gifted artists sell out to the almighty dollar sooner or later.’
    • ‘Hey, Carlos, before I get into this next shameless plug, will you join us on the radio again tonight?’
    • ‘And while I'm at it, here is another plug for my brother's stained glass studio, Glass Threshold.’
    • ‘Product plugs and placements not only reflect societal trends, their entire purpose is to convince consumers that they ‘need’ the good or service portrayed.’
    • ‘The film is littered with blatant plugs for a variety of brand names.’
    • ‘I'll put in another plug for their courses on tape.’
    • ‘Every day there are ‘news items’ in regional news broadcasts about the opening of some new factory, with thinly-veiled plugs for features and benefits of the new product.’
    • ‘To conclude on an off-topic note, I would like to present you, my tiny and loyal audience, with another of those shameless plugs for interesting friends who have just taken to blogging.’
    • ‘I don't give plugs as a rule, but I make an honourable exception for the annual Saints & Sinners meeting at Hamilton on Wednesday.’
    • ‘‘No free plugs in my paper,’ I was saying to myself in my head.’
    • ‘Some games, while managing to capture the feeling of speed from the movie, sold out their street cred with the number of commercial plugs scattered through the game.’
    • ‘If you're in the Bay Area, I'm about to make a rare and unusual plug for a Stanford event.’
    • ‘And you all will have to forgive me for that shameless plug.’
    • ‘On the other hand, the televised games are damaged by the profusion of commercial plugs, logos and the like.’
    • ‘Add to that editorial advertising, plugs for products in articles in publications of all kinds, and you know you (the consumer) are being assailed from all sides.’
    • ‘Its good for cricket in East Yorkshire, and the numerous plugs for the game on national radio also gets the town of Hornsea nationwide publicity’
    piece of publicity, favourable mention, advertisement, promotion, recommendation, mention, good word, commercial
    View synonyms
  • 4A piece of tobacco cut from a larger cake for chewing.

    ‘they sold chewing tobacco in bars and plugs’
    • ‘They treated the mules as pets, fed them treats, cleaned their stables, treated their sores, and even shared plugs of tobacco with them.’
    • ‘A woman stays around the store till she get old as Methuselah and still can't cut a little thing like a plug of tobacco!’
    • ‘The Bryants assumed that the children wanted candy, but the mother bought tobacco and gave each a plug; this became their weekly treat.’
    • ‘This type of smokeless tobacco comes in loose leaf, plugs or twists.’
    • ‘Goya shows them sitting on rocks under a bare tree, cutting plugs of contraband tobacco, with a coil of rope on the ground, handy for tying up victims.’
    • ‘Rumor had it that he had once given our catcher on the baseball team a big plug of chewing tobacco to try out.’
    • ‘The whole country divided on the issue of a few plugs of tobacco?’
    • ‘They both drink from Tom's liquor flask and Casey chews a plug of tobacco.’
    wad, quid, twist, chew
    View synonyms
    1. 4.1also plug tobaccomass noun Tobacco in large cakes designed to be cut for chewing.
      ‘he was always chewing plug and cracking jokes’
      • ‘The tobacco industry remained one of the important industries at the prison: in June 1953 alone, 11,426 pounds of plug tobacco and 15,623 pounds of smoking tobacco were produced under the name ‘Little Egypt.’’
      • ‘By 1870 Cincinnati was the number one producer in the United States of an eclectic array of goods: carriages, glycerin, wine, whiskey, plug tobacco, and coffins.’
      • ‘The activities of the factory at Seville were concentrated in three main product lines: cigars, cigarettes, and plug tobacco.’
  • 5Fishing
    A lure with one or more hooks attached.

    • ‘Carrying plugs festooned with treble hooks is a price that is inevitably paid by the penitent plug fisherman.’
    • ‘The big rod flexed again and again, driving the plug across the water.’
    • ‘There is also rock fishing at Europa Point below the Lighthouse for bass fishing, spinners and plugs - though a rubber sand eel on a light trace would be the better bet.’
    • ‘A little before six o'clock, we were casting plugs about a mile above St. Anthony Falls when the Patrick Gannaway, a towboat, came chugging upriver with two barges.’
    • ‘Spinning artificial lures such as bar spoons and plugs offered great sport and this led some anglers to develop the idea that Atlantic Bass could be caught on an artificial lure and with a fly-rod.’
    lure, decoy, fly, troll, jig, teaser
    View synonyms
  • 6

    short for fireplug
  • 7North American informal A tired or old horse.

    • ‘He was a hopeless plug and never ran in the money.’
    nag, inferior horse, tired-out horse, worn-out horse, rosinante
    View synonyms


[with object]
  • 1Block or fill in (a hole or cavity)

    ‘trucks arrived loaded with gravel to plug the hole and clear the road’
    • ‘Some children with congenital heart abnormalities have fine tungsten spirals inserted into the heart to plug small holes between the cavities of the two ventricles.’
    • ‘She plugs the hole with digested wood known as ‘frass.’’
    • ‘Thinking again, she plugged the sink's hole, just to be sure.’
    • ‘Using X-ray guidance, the doctor places an expandable disk into the defect, which plugs the hole.’
    • ‘If the defensive holes aren't plugged, the Quakes' season could go down the drain in a hurry.’
    • ‘Mergers such as DaimlerChrysler were carried out to help expand market share, enter new markets, and plug product gaps.’
    • ‘Pheobe plugged the drain in the sink and filled it up with warm water.’
    • ‘Thousands of local authority workers could face cuts to their pension benefits as all 15 councils in Yorkshire and the Humber try to find a way to plug the gaping black hole in their schemes.’
    • ‘She plugged the drain and waited for clean water to fill up the bath.’
    • ‘And then, while billions are spent to plug this hole, the excuses will fly fast and far, but the reason will be simple: greed.’
    • ‘In the past month, the team has added four new starters on offense and perhaps two more on defense, effectively plugging the holes left from a turbulent offseason.’
    • ‘Rather than sit about and fuss over the ideal way to fix the problem, the group took a quick, short step to plug the hole.’
    • ‘The city approved a $350,000 grant for the project to plug the gap between the $2.11 million project cost and the $1.76 million in funding sources that already had been identified.’
    • ‘Governor Gray Davis took steps last week to plug some of the holes in that budget, but the measures have been painful.’
    • ‘It has started preparing next year's budget weeks earlier than usual to ensure it plugs the budget gap in time.’
    • ‘So I decided that I should plug this gap in my education and rented a few tapes of big matches to try and figure out how hurling works.’
    • ‘I couldn't work in a situation where I thought I was only here to plug a hole.’
    • ‘Once people understand what is going on in their economy they will be more interested in plugging some of the holes in the leaky economic bucket.’
    • ‘Our understanding of each phenomenon is incomplete, but the scientific approach to plugging gaps in our knowledge is not to create a new anti-theory that dismisses the underlying phenomenon.’
    • ‘The company plugs one hole or advises customers to take a certain measure, and the hackers find four ways around it.’
    • ‘BMP Additional Commissioner P K Srihari said that officials were working on plugging loopholes in the TDR scheme - to prevent document duplication and use of fake TDR certificates.’
    stop, stop up, seal, seal off, seal up, close, close off, close up, cork, stopper, bung, block, block off, block up, dam, dam up, fill, fill up, pack, stuff
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Fill.
      ‘the new sanctions are meant to plug the gaps in the trade embargo’
      • ‘Ignore the hype: plug up your ears and shut off the television.’
      • ‘Obviously disgusted he couldn't do anything naughty there, he had moved back around, in front of her, to use his fingers to plug her nostrils.’
      • ‘Therefore, trying to fill our emptiness with anything other than spiritual pursuits is like trying to plug a round hole with a square cork.’
      • ‘The company apologized profusely and said it plugged the security hole, but privacy advocates have their doubts.’
      • ‘The mere mention of ethnic diversity has academics plugging their ears and slamming paper bags over their heads.’
      • ‘She plugs the hole with digested wood known as "frass."’
      • ‘And once again, she was racing ahead, with eyes cast downward and ear buds plugging her ears.’
      • ‘Special Constables are voluntary police officers who give up their time to plug the hole in police resources.’
      • ‘Now that they have managed to plug the gap, the Dons are letting him leave Pittodrie.’
      • ‘The Clippers never will amount to more than playoff wannabes until they plug the gaping holes in their interior defense.’
      • ‘Instead of bailing water out of the leaky vessel, Alistair Darling and Gordon Brown are trying to plug the leak.’
      • ‘He said crews aggressively attempt to plug leaks, but new leaks frequently open where patches had earlier been applied.’
      • ‘Now the government is set to plug the loophole in the law aimed at keeping drinkers off pavements and roadways.’
    2. 1.2 Insert (something) into an opening so as to fill it.
      ‘the baby plugged his thumb into his mouth’
  • 2informal Mention (a product, event, or establishment) publicly in order to promote it.

    ‘during the show he plugged his new record’
    • ‘The interview does give plenty of background on the director's career, and he gets a change to plug the vastly superior Metropolis at the end.’
    • ‘Who needs television when the products and programmes are plugged endlessly on our stages?’
    • ‘After the commercial, they plugged the Drowning Pool song.’
    • ‘He sits in a specially provided armchair, in front of display boards plugging the University's mission and achievements.’
    • ‘The pair have been plugging each other's products for a couple of years now in a bid to try and offer a ‘triple play’ service to rival cablecos NTL and Telewest.’
    • ‘No matter what problem a caller has, he will not hesitate to plug some 30 dollar spyware program that probably contains spyware in itself.’
    • ‘What a surprise to see a wallaby had escaped from a marsupial centre in the area, just weeks before the official opening which you obligingly plug the date of.’
    • ‘She received a massive, multi-million dollar payment to help plug Leitch's upcoming book.’
    • ‘Excellent material for anyone who does scenario planning - and I'm not just saying that because he plugs Techdirt as a publication he reads.’
    • ‘With readers flocking to their Web postings, execs are finding blogs useful for plugging not just their products but their points of view.’
    • ‘The firm will send promotional mailings next month plugging Boston and Cambridge to its top 15,000 British travel customers.’
    • ‘He has expressed his horror that his writings are being plugged on the British National Party website.’
    • ‘Ads plugging the new all-in-one products have already appeared in the press.’
    • ‘The distinctive voice and gripping lyrics of German vocalist and producer Enik have been plugged through his recent vocal work on Funkstorung's album, Disconnected.’
    • ‘I've plugged Teller's writing on this blog over the years.’
    • ‘He says that when they approached him to plug the Snout record he gave them a price he knew they could afford.’
    • ‘And the girls have been on a promotional tour of Europe, plugging Sound of the Underground.’
    • ‘When Bitton is not thinking about politics or plugging his documentary, he's poring over ancient manuscripts, books and articles.’
    • ‘We don't expect him to really use the products he plugs (and indeed, there are so many of them that he'd have to build a new house just for them).’
    • ‘Wind her up and she plugs your product on promotion tours and TV - all in an ‘honest, objective’ endorsement.’
    publicize, promote, give publicity to, advertise, mention, give a mention to, write up, build up, bang the drum for, beat the drum for, commend, draw attention to
    View synonyms
  • 3North American informal Shoot or hit (someone or something)

    ‘he got plugged in the head while he was taking a nap’
    • ‘As EastEnders finished last night, the nation exhaled, put the kettle on and began to argue: who plugged Phil Mitchell?’
    • ‘Quartermain, when told that a fleeing hoodlum is too far to shoot, says, ‘You're right,’ puts on his spectacles, and then plugs the thug in the rear.’
    • ‘You defer to the man you fear because he'll plug you if you don't.’
    • ‘Tragically, big brother never gets to see his junior realize his dreams, when he gets fatally plugged by Anonymous Gun-Toting Thief.’
    • ‘I was calm, even though someone could try to plug me from that range and have a thirty-to-fifty percent chance of success.’
    • ‘I raised the little .22 and plugged him between the shoulders.’
    • ‘If he meets Miller in the middle of the desert and plugs him, problem solved.’
    • ‘Why doesn't he just jump out and plug me full of lead right now?’
    • ‘If anyone plugs him, it'd ‘be appreciated and rewarded’.’
    • ‘Relieved to have a clear target who would actually notice being shot, Magnum plugged him in the upper arm, spinning him over the coffee table.’
    shoot, hit, shoot down, gun down, pick off
    View synonyms
  • 4informal no object, with adverbial Proceed steadily and laboriously with a journey or task.

    ‘during the years of poverty, he plugged away at his writing’
    • ‘His speech, impaired by Parkinson's, is garbled, but he plugged along.’
    • ‘Can it continue to plug along into the fall?’
    • ‘It means, rather, that our brains have to keep plugging along, trying to devise hypotheses that more accurately map the causal structure of reality.’
    • ‘After graduating, Grant dabbled briefly in advertising, writing copy for Brylcreem and Red Stripe beer, but plugged away at an acting career in regional theatre.’
    • ‘And you just keep plugging away and see wonderful things when you continue.’
    • ‘Let's say you are plugging away at your current geek-of-the-week task, and for some insane reason, a strange noise starts emitting from the overhead speaker.’
    • ‘But both before and after he takes over, this low-budget Australian comedy plugs along without a single inventive moment.’
    • ‘He told us to just keep plugging away and, if the chances came along, to take them.’
    • ‘I am ready to be converted, however, so keep plugging away Jack.’
    • ‘I just keep on plugging away, doing my thing, forging ahead, etc.’
    • ‘As full time approached they plugged away at the home defence without seriously threatening to break it, until at last the backs found space.’
    • ‘The characters plug along until, as always in the movies, a crisis requires them to re-examine why they are so unhappy and how they got there.’
    • ‘I was ecstatic because for a long time we were teetering on the edge of breakup but always plugged along because we both know our relationship was more unique and stronger than others.’
    • ‘Cultivating the spirit of perseverance, they keep plugging grimly along, clinging to the hope that this will eventually do them some good.’
    • ‘In between times, he has plugged away at a steady pace, approaching his work with a measured, thorough approach more dogged than dashing.’
    • ‘Still plugging away on the book and it's coming along nicely.’
    • ‘There's more stuff to dispose of before we move, and we'll keep plugging at it.’
    • ‘So you continue to plug away, knowing that the gains you want will come with time.’
    • ‘Meanwhile Graham has been plugging on with the task of removing the old kitchen floor covering and applying the new.’
    • ‘Some have dropped down to continue playing, while others have been plugging away outside the limelight for all their careers.’
    toil, labour, toil away, plod away, work away, slave away, soldier on with, persevere with, persist with, keep on with, plough on with, hammer away, grind away
    View synonyms


  • plug the gap (or gaps)

    • Provide something that is lacking in a particular situation.

      ‘the government is to borrow £29 billion to plug the gap in public spending’
      • ‘They say they are already considering raiding the savings of cash rich schools to plug the gap.’
      • ‘Thus far, the United States has had no problem attracting money from abroad to plug the gaps.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, Lee rushed up reserves to plug the gap.’
      • ‘The Treasury is understood to have allocated an extra 60 million to DCMS to help plug the gap.’
      • ‘Xuan even contemplated trying to find workers outside China to plug the gap.’
      • ‘Any chance of a fightback was quickly quashed by Keighley's defence who plugged the gaps.’
      • ‘The council is currently recruiting up to 20 front-line staff from Canada to help plug the gaps.’
      • ‘Britain's banks are in no position to plug the gap.’
      • ‘New staff recruited from Britain could also be offered £2,000 "golden hellos" under a package of measures to plug the gaps.’
      • ‘The problem then is finding someone to plug the gap.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • plug something in

    • Connect an electrical appliance to the mains by inserting a plug in a socket.

      ‘she plugged in the electric kettle and spooned coffee into the percolator’
      • ‘No warning appears if no power connector is plugged in, and the performance of the card is the same either way.’
      • ‘The son runs to the TV, plugs it in, and soon the whole family is tuned in.’
      • ‘When I first purchased my computer, I thought that all I needed to do was plug it in, connect it to the phone line, and everything would be OK.’
      • ‘The Crickets came on stage and Sonny Curtis struck a chord, part warm-up, part check the guitar is plugged in, part, perhaps, unconscious pre-performance ritual.’
      • ‘You don't plug the electric system in to recharge - it does this itself during the drive, even using energy from the braking system.’
      • ‘Since then, I always check for water on the floor when I plug appliances in.’
      • ‘He said he objected when he was first asked if a radio could be plugged in during lessons.’
      • ‘To start, simply mount the transformer near a grounded outdoor electrical outlet and plug it in.’
      • ‘But a laptop, even if it was plugged in, would just react to the mains cutoff by switching to its internal battery.’
      • ‘All you do is plug the machine in, switch it to Auto and you're all set to start protecting your private information.’
  • plug into

    • 1(of an electrical appliance) be connected to another appliance by a lead inserted in a socket.

      ‘you can buy a camera which will plug into your video cassette recorder’
      • ‘This gives customers a fairly painless way to double the processor count of their servers, as the module plugs into existing sockets.’
      • ‘The downside is that a Socket 940 CPU won't plug into a Socket 939 motherboard, or vice versa.’
      • ‘These can be stand-alone systems or they can be a component that plugs into your computer.’
      • ‘The receiver plugs into the controller socket and must match the channel number you're using.’
      • ‘These CPUs plugged into a socket called Socket 754.’
      • ‘This comes into my computer via a modem which plugs into a USB socket.’
      • ‘This comes with some electric cord that plugs into the camera body and has a shoe plate at the end of it that slips over the foot of your flash.’
      • ‘Very simplified, it's the speed that the CPU socket, where it plugs into the motherboard, runs at.’
      • ‘It's really the simplest thing - a small, high quality screen which plugs into the phone socket.’
      • ‘The trigger set plugs into the computer's serial port and includes a hand glove and a footpad.’
      1. 1.1Gain or have access to a system of computerized information.
        ‘we plug into the research facilities available at the institute’
        • ‘Most, she believes, will be ‘virtual’ adventurers, plugging into computer-simulated cyber-trips rendered with astonishing clarity.’
        • ‘For example, when people join the evolt mailing list, they're instantly plugged into vast amounts of knowledge for free.’
        • ‘If British troops are to fight ‘shoulder to shoulder’ with the Americans, then they have to be plugged into the same hi-tech systems.’
        • ‘It seems that our whole economy is being run by groups of people gathered in grey buildings on the edges of towns plugged into phone systems.’
        • ‘And that is what we're doing with the police department, being able to plug into their system of receivers that enhance the signal under those difficult conditions and send it on.’
        • ‘Ideally, anyone plugged into the system should be able to go down the checklist and create a desired result.’
        • ‘Will it be possible for Movable Type and TypePad users to plug into a non-SixApart authentication system?’
        • ‘People who use the Internet are interested in fast responses, so they plug into that speed-driven system and find what they want.’
        • ‘So, whereas this process used to keep her informed of what was going on, it almost immediately becomes common knowledge to those plugged into the website.’
        • ‘Will it be possible for Radio users to plug into a non-Userland scripting system?’
      2. 1.2Become knowledgeable about and involved with.
        ‘the workshops are a great way to plug into radical ideas and radical groups’
        • ‘Instead of plugging into the boob tube, I chose to increase my study of our ancient and holy Jewish texts and plug into a fountain of spiritual knowledge.’
        • ‘For Lischner, the experience of being plugged into an existing team showed other potential hiring weaknesses.’
        • ‘The public is more plugged into what's happening in the second leg, and former optimism begins to turn to questioning and even gloom.’
        • ‘Far from being crazy, the oil executive had simply been citing what was common knowledge to anyone properly plugged into the pace of events in southern Africa.’
        • ‘Upmarket furniture dealers have also plugged into the trend, setting up experience centres to create a live-in ambience for various rooms.’
        • ‘In the world of elite sport, knowledge is power, as increasingly coaches and administrators are plugging into high-tech strategies to boost performance.’
        • ‘In order to charge things up, to imbue them with our good will and intention, we need to feel connected and plugged into the energy of the earth.’
        • ‘Keep tabs on all the latest position battles and injury information, stay plugged into training camp developments, and adjust your rankings accordingly.’
        • ‘As such, it can be enjoyed by regular cinema-goers and loved by eager fans if they plug into the nostalgia for the defining cinematic experience they had in 1991.’


Early 17th century: from Middle Dutch and Middle Low German plugge, of unknown ultimate origin.