Definition of unplug in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Disconnect (an electrical device) by removing its plug from a socket.

    ‘she unplugged the fridge’
    • ‘Turn off electrical items before unplugging them, and unplug items by firmly grasping the plug itself; never yank the cord.’
    • ‘The only solutions are to physically unplug these appliances, or to turn off their power strips.’
    • ‘If you are one of those people who unplugs their electronic devices or turns them off whenever a storm comes, do yourself a favor and buy some ‘insurance’ and stop letting a little storm interfere with your work or enjoyment!’
    • ‘Before Mike could think of anything else he reached behind the nightstand that both the phone and answering machine were plugged into and unplugged the answering machine.’
    • ‘So you won't be plugging and unplugging the lights every night or forgetting to flip off the switch, you can buy an outdoor electric timer that turns your outdoor lights on and off automatically.’
    • ‘‘We advise the public to unplug electronic appliances during thunderous weather to prevent damage if electricity networks are struck by lightning,’ he added.’
    • ‘I jumped for the telephone just as the message machine picked up, unplugging the recorder and frantically answering with a forced ‘Hello?’’
    • ‘Check that leads, plugs and sockets are undamaged and unplug all appliances.’
    • ‘Eventually, she unplugged the lamps but the overhead light continued to switch on and off for about 45 minutes.’
    • ‘The jacket will stay hot up to five hours; and when it's time for the laundry pile, just unplug the batteries and switch, and toss it in the Maytag.’
    • ‘That was the only time I ever saw Dad unplug the machine.’
    • ‘Yet the highlight of the night featured Sexsmith and the band attempting something very rare: unplugging their instruments and moving in front of the monitors to play an acoustic song.’
    • ‘If you have to leave your home, remember to unplug your appliances, turn off the electricity and close the main water valve.’
    • ‘She unplugged the telephone, and turned out the lights.’
    • ‘The most obvious, and the most effective, thing to do when lightening approaches is to unplug any electronic device.’
    • ‘Turn off and unplug the power tool from its power source before you perform any alignment, adjustment, maintenance, or repair procedure.’
    • ‘A. To remove the washer, unplug the machine, turn off both water faucets and disconnect the water hoses from the faucets/spigots.’
    • ‘Begin any replacement by removing the battery or unplugging the tool.’
    • ‘Before cleaning the condenser coils, unplug the refrigerator to avoid a shock hazard.’
    • ‘The NSC is urging people to ensure they have working smoke alarms, to cover open fires with a spark guard and to remember to extinguish candles and unplug all electrical equipment before going to bed.’
    switch off, turn out, put off, shut off, power down, flick off, extinguish, deactivate, trip
    switch off, turn off, put off, shut off, flick off
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Sever the connection between a peripheral device and a computer.
      ‘the only thing you can do is to unplug the RJ45’
      ‘Why do I have to unplug the mouse to get the printer to work?’
      • ‘It's hilarious. c) My Dad has done something to the speakers on our main computer i.e. unplugged them.’
      • ‘Showing Tim the information, Shane turned both the laptop and scanner off before unplugging his scanner from the laptop, and putting them back into his knapsack.’
      • ‘That was why he was connecting and reconnecting leads, changing fuses, plugging and unplugging spare motherboards and memory chips and basically making an even worse mess than the one he had made the previous night.’
      • ‘We were in a corner, and there was a keyboard on the bench next to us, so we unplugged the keyboard and set the laptop up there, using the AC adaptor to get power so the computer didn't die halfway through the screening.’
      • ‘I do know that in the last resort I can take it down to the cellar, plug everything in, boot it into windows, get everything working, and then unplug the keyboard and monitor.’
      • ‘We have all had to reach behind the computer to plug and unplug these devices.’
      • ‘If I need higher quality output, and my kids let me unplug it from their computer, I connect to the HP Deskjet.’
      • ‘Nothing is perfect, and the only true way to be sure people are kept out is to unplug your Ethernet connection when you are not there.’
      • ‘So last night I unplugged the modem, stared at it, then plugged it in again.’
      • ‘I have to unplug the monitor and plug it back in, or I have to totally reset my computer.’
      • ‘Well, for a start, you can plug or unplug a USB device into your PC while it is running, and it will automatically detect and activate that device.’
      • ‘In the meantime, many common modem problems can be solved by unplugging the modem - it is plugged in, right?’
      • ‘I found a had a bootup problem like you refer when the power to the scanner was unplugged at bootup.’
      • ‘To test this, I set the alarm to 45C, wedged one of the probes between the fins on the CPU heatsink and unplugged the CPU fan for a few minutes.’
      • ‘It apparently crashes the machine when querying the modem on install, but if you unplug the modem the machine comes back.’
      • ‘The CentryII features in-car GPS output for on-board navigation and routes, and provides automatic updates on vehicle speeding, starts, stops, turns or if the driver unplugs the GPS antenna.’
      • ‘I said, closing the lid of the laptop and unplugging the scanner.’
      • ‘I could unplug the laptop hard drive, plug it into my desktop and then copy at IDE connection speeds, but this is too much of a hassle to do regularly.’
      • ‘Another difference: computers can be unplugged from the network and rebooted; organisms cannot.’
      • ‘So a week goes by with me tracking this stuff and having frustrating outages, and unplugging my modem and plugging it back in every time it happens (there's no power switch on it).’
  • 2Remove an obstacle or blockage from.

    ‘a procedure to unplug blocked arteries’
    • ‘Does the Zep hair removal liquid really work to unplug the bath-tub drain stoppage?’
    • ‘If your contractor cannot unplug the stoppage in your service sewer, we will then meet with your contractor on-site.’
    • ‘But a new gadget, called the MERCI Retriever, is being used to unplug arteries by removing clots like a corkscrew pulling a cork from a bottle.’
    • ‘For Torah study is the primary way to unplug spiritual blockage, and to remove barriers that prevent one from seeing the truth.’
    • ‘A sure shot way of unplugging or unclogging ears is to block your nose with your fingers and blow hard from the nose.’
  • 3informal no object Relax by disengaging from normal activities.

    ‘they've gone up to the cabin to unplug’
    • ‘My senses recalled the California sunshine and the smell of the Pacific Ocean. It is a good place to unplug.’