a plug of soft, pliable material inserted into the opening of the outer ear, especially to keep out water or noise.

1900–05; ear1 + plug

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World English Dictionary
earplug (ˈɪəˌplʌɡ)
a small piece of soft material, such as wax, placed in the ear to keep out noise or water

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Encyclopedia Britannica


type of ear ornament usually inserted in pierced and distended earlobes and generally worn by traditional peoples. Earplugs were the direct forerunners of today's pierced earrings.

Learn more about earplug with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
If sounds are much more muffled, the earplug may not be sealing properly.
Earplug design, controller design, and actuator design all play vital roles in high noise attenuation.
Effect of an improved hearing conservation program on earplug performance in the workplace.
As customary in loud environments, the use of an earplug is recommended.
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