plug-in

[pluhg-in]
adjective
1.
capable of or designed for being connected to an electrical power source by plugging in or inserting: a plug-in hair dryer; a plug-in transistor.
noun
2.
plug ( def 3 ).
3.
jack1 ( def 3 ).
4.
a plug-in appliance.

Origin:
1920–25; adj., noun use of verb phrase plug in

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
plug-in   (plŭg'ĭn')  Pronunciation Key 
An accessory software or hardware package that is used in conjunction with an existing application or device to extend its capabilities or provide additional functions.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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FOLDOC
Computing Dictionary

plug-in definition

tool
A file containing data used to alter, enhance, or extend the operation of a parent application program. One of the first uses of this term was in Silicon Beach's SuperPaint application (late 1980s?) for the Macintosh. It had a Plug-ins folder containing different tools and effects.
The Netscape Navigator World-Wide Web browser supports plug-ins which display or interpret a particular file format or protocol such as Shockwave, RealAudio, Adobe Systems, Inc. PDF, Corel CMX (vector graphics). The file to be displayed is included in a web page using an EMBED HTML tag.
Plug-ins, both commercially and indepently authored, can usually be downloaded for free and are stored locally. Plug-ins come in different versions specific to particular operating systems (Microsoft Windows 3.1, 3.2, and Macintosh are available).
Compare applet.
Plug-in Plaza (http://browserwatch.com/plug-in.html).
PC Mag Plug-ins (http://zdnet.com/pcmag/IU/plugins/plugins.htm).
(1996-05-25)
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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