pull the plug

pull the plug


  • to kill or discontinue
  • stop something
  • prevent any going on process
  • bring something to an end

Example Sentences

  1. The doctors decided to pull the plug on Uncle Bill when he stopped responding to all the treatment courses that they took.
  2. I have decided to pull the plug on this project since it is turning out to be a sink hole which is taking in money and not yielding any returns.
  3. You cannot pull the plug on the funds now when the team needs the money the most before they can get into the big leagues.
  4. The old man decided to pull the plug on spending everything that he earned on his children. They should be able to take care of their own expenses.
  5. I cannot pull the plug on this project because it is quite close to my heart.
  6. United States pulled the plug of financial support to Pakistan.


The term comes from the medical world where pulling the plug on the machines that are keeping people alive could literally result into death. It used to be an informal way or euphemism to say that someone is being left to die naturally by pulling out all the machines on the person. The phrase has caught on and now means killing the supply of things that are keeping a project / venture alive.

P 1 Thought

1 Thought

Pulled the plug existed as an idiom before life support existed. It either came from pulling the plug out of a drain such as in a sink or tub or pulling out an electrical cord. That second origin is similar to the origin you suggested but predates your origin and is not morbid.

- Corey Estoll August 24, 2021

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