These three micro-dictations all contain the expression ‘to pull the plug’. Complete each exercise, and then try to guess the meaning/usage of the expression from the context.
…in the coming weeks…
In the coming days/weeks/months/years is an alternative way of talking about the future. e.g. I can’t give you much information at this stage, but you’ll hear more in the coming days.
…money’s tight at the moment…
If you say that money is tight then you are saying that you are in a financial situation in which you need to be very careful with money and do not have much to spare. e.g. If money weren’t so tight then we would be happy to fund this project.
…after negotiations stalled…
If something stalls, then it stops working, is delayed, or no longer makes any progress. e.g. Unfortunately, discussions with the union representatives seem to have stalled.
to pull the plug: meaning and explanation
to pull the plug (on something) = to make the decision to stop something from continuing or working.
This may involve withdrawing support or finances for something (as with micro-dictations one and two). ‘Pulling the plug’ could also involve withdrawing from a process that cannot continue without you (such as a negotiation, as in micro-dictation three).
This is quite an informal and direct idiom, and sounds quite decisive and final – imagine stopping a computer or machine by pulling the plug directly out of the socket.