Definition of pull the plug in US English:

pull the plug

phrase

informal
  • 1Prevent something from happening or continuing.

    ‘the company pulled the plug on the deal because it was not satisfied with the terms’
    • ‘With prospects for future sales looking good, ebookers hopes to cash in on the restructuring from earlier this year as it continues to pull the plug on less profitable parts of its business.’
    • ‘Railtrack was placed into administration last autumn after Mr Byers pulled the plug on extra subsidies for the company, which manages maintenance and infrastructure on Britain's rail network.’
    • ‘We went from Hollywood to Mammoth, which was a boutique inside of Hollywood, then Disney pulled the plug on Mammoth six weeks before our record came out.’
    • ‘Russia abruptly pulled the plug on its only nationwide independent television station yesterday, giving the Kremlin a monopoly of the airwaves for the first time since the Soviet era.’
    • ‘Checker, which began trading at terminal three despite fierce opposition from black cab drivers, pulled the plug on the venture after amassing losses of £100,000.’
    • ‘Hundreds of thousands of pounds was due to be spent improving safety on the line - both on carriages and at stations - until the Strategic Rail Authority pulled the plug on funding.’
    • ‘Also at the meeting were bosses from Kelda, the holding company of Yorkshire Water, which pulled the plug on funding just two months after selling the plant to EPR.’
    • ‘A block of flats evacuated to make way for the Metrolink is due to be bulldozed - even though the government has pulled the plug on expanding the tram system.’
    • ‘The councillor said he had gone up to the Dail ‘on his own back’ to picket after the Minister pulled the plug on their scheduled meeting.’
    • ‘After being refused planning permission by Waterford Co. Council and deciding to contest this to An Bord Pleanála, the chain has now pulled the plug on their own appeal.’
    discontinue, wind up, stop, end, terminate, abort, bring to an end, put an end to, put a stop to, finish, bring to a halt, call a halt to, cancel, drop, dispense with, do away with, get rid of, abolish
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  • 2Remove (a patient) from life support.

    ‘we'll be talking to people who pulled the plug on their mothers’
    • ‘I watched as Doctor Carmichael pulled the plug on the life support and Jaymes breathed his last.’
    • ‘When someone tries to kill comatose, hit-and-run victim Alexandre by pulling the plug on his life-support machine the patient awakes from his coma instead of dying.’
    • ‘John himself was turned off when he ‘died’ in a hospital scene and they pulled the plug on his life support machine.’
    • ‘The law allows hospitals to pull the plug on patients if a doctor believes the patient is unlikely to recover and if that patient can't pay.’
    • ‘Quincy notices an influx of deaths from a nearby sanatorium, and believes that someone on staff has been pulling the plug on patients to ease their suffering.’
    • ‘Unscrupulous individuals will set about killing the old or pulling the plug on coma patients in a willy-nilly fashion.’
    • ‘A physician with a patient's permission can stop dialysis or pull the plug of a respirator.’
    • ‘However if he had been terminally unconscious and on life support I know I would have pulled the plug.’
    • ‘Is pulling the plug on a terminal patient the exact moral equivalent of plugging in the electric chair?’
    • ‘Kyle held her hand fast though, he remembered when she'd gone to the hospital when she was little and a doctor had pulled the plug on a life support unit connected to her cousin.’