Meaning of “plug-in” in the English Dictionary

"plug-in" in American English

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plug-innoun [ C ]

us /ˈplʌɡ ˌɪn/

a small device or computer program that is designed to be used with and fits into a larger one

(Definition of “plug-in” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"plug in" in Business English

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plug in

phrasal verb with plug uk /plʌɡ/ us verb [ T ] -gg-

[ I ] IT to become connected to a piece of electrical equipment or to the main electricity supply:

The keyboard plugs in at the back of the computer.

plug-innoun [ C ]

also plugin uk /ˈplʌɡɪn/ us

IT a small computer program that makes a larger one work faster or have more features:

The company charges $50 extra for the optional plug-in.
Users simply download a small plugin that works with their browsers.


also plugin uk us

IT relating to things that can be added to a computer system to make it work faster or have more features:

a plug-in card/keyboard/modem If your PC has no USB ports, you can add them with a plug-in card.

able to be connected using a plug (= object with metal pins for connecting equipment to an electricity supply):

a plug-in electric car/hybrid
Alternatively, plug-in timer switches can be bought from hardware stores.

(Definition of “plug in” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)