pull the plug (on one)

pull the plug (on one)

To remove, turn off, or discontinue someone's life-support system, resulting in their death. Despite many objections, the court ruled that the family could pull the plug. I've instructed my family to pull the plug on me if I ever become totally comatose.
See also: plug, pull

pull the plug

 (on someone)
1. Lit. to turn off someone's life-support system in a hospital. (Based on pull the plug (on something) {2}. This results in the death of the person whose life support has been terminated.) They had to get a court order to pull the plug on their father. Fred signed a living will making it possible to pull the plug on him without a court order.
2. Fig. to put an end to someone's activities or plans. (Based on pull the plug (on something) {2}.) The mayor was doing a fine job until the treasurer pulled the plug on him. David pulled the plug on Fred, who was taking too long with the project.
See also: plug, pull

pull the plug

 (on something)
1. Lit. to terminate the functions of something by pulling a connector from a socket. While she was working at the computer, I accidentally pulled the plug. I pulled the plug on the vacuum because the switch was broken.
2. Fig. to reduce the power or effectiveness of something; to disable something. Jane pulled the plug on the whole project. The treasurer pulled the plug because there was no more money in the budget.
See also: plug, pull

pull the plug on

1. Discontinue, end, as in The government pulled the plug on that program. [First half of 1900s]
2. Remove all life-supporting equipment, as in The family debated whether it was time to pull the plug on him. [Second half of 1900s] Although this idiom undoubtedly alludes to cutting off electricity to an electrical device, it originally referred to the removal of a stopper that flushed an old-style toilet.
See also: on, plug, pull

pull the plug

prevent something from happening or continuing; put a stop to something. informal
This phrase alludes to an older type of lavatory flush which operated by the pulling out of a plug to empty the contents of the pan into the soil pipe.
1997 New Scientist And with the first elements of the ISS set for launch next year, it's hardly likely Congress will pull the plug on the project.
See also: plug, pull

pull the plug

verb
See also: plug, pull

pull the plug on

Slang
To stop supporting or bring to an end: pulled the plug on the new art courses.
See also: on, plug, pull
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