Plugs and receptacles are the male-ended (plug) and female-ended (receptacle) connectors used to join electrical terminations and create a circuit.
They are characterized by their pinout, which properly aligns both the plug and receptacle so that the connectors fit in the correct orientation and join matching terminals. They are also defined by their physical construction, size, contact resistance, insulation between pins and optional locking mechanisms that secure connections into place.
Plugs and receptacles vary case by case, with plugs typically attached to the end of a cable and receptacles built into a machine or wall. Pinout configurations include anywhere from two to 80 pins. Straight blade connectors are most common, with two contact pins and a safety ground. Locking plugs and receptacles usually used a twist-style lock to secure the connection.