I haven't found anything related to this device neither on internet nor in dictionaries

device which plugs into the wall and has 3 electrical sockets where other devices can be plugged in

It is an equipment used to make up for the problem of not having enough sockets, nearby.

  • 1
    English speakers almost everywhere call these things 'power strips', not just Americans. A power outlet (or 'power socket' in Britain) has just one place for connecting something electrical. Commented Apr 26, 2022 at 17:24
  • 1
    In the USA, "power strip" Power outlet is used nearly exclusively for the plugs that are within a wall.
    – Edwin Buck
    Commented Apr 26, 2022 at 19:04
  • This question has also been asked on English Language & Usage. There seems to be no general agreement on what it is called. Various different suggestions are given - one of which is "power strip".
    – WS2
    Commented Sep 15, 2022 at 17:57
  • I'd call it a "4-way" (or in this case, a "3-way"). If more clarity is required, "A three way extension".
    – Colin Fine
    Commented Sep 16, 2022 at 18:58

3 Answers 3


There are a lot of different ways to talk about this item. Here are a few ways I've heard it spoken about:

  1. Power strip - like the item you have pictured, it has multiple outlets on it and plugs into the wall, and usually contains a power switch.

  2. Extension cable/cord (according to @Canadian Yankee, an extension lead in the UK) - kind of similar to a power strip, but it only has one outlet and usually a longer cable, and usually doesn't have an on off switch. This is different from the item pictured, but is still used to bring power to a place where there is none.

  3. Outlet strip - just another way to say power strip.

  4. Surge protector - though this looks the same as a power strip/outlet strip, a surge protector has special circuitry to protect your devices against a power surge. Though it's a specific type of power/outlet strip, people usually use them interchangeably these days, because many people don't know the difference.

Bear in mind, I'm an American English speaker in the Pacific Northwest, so those are the terms we use out here. Other people may have other ways of saying it, but if you use one of those three properly, people will understand what you mean.

  • It would not be an extension cord. An extension cord is single cord to make an existing power cord longer.
    – Lambie
    Commented Mar 15, 2018 at 15:44
  • Did you read how I defined it? I'm aware it's not synonymous with power strip which is why I put a separate definition. In his question, he asked at the end for the name of something you use if you don't have enough sockets nearby. You can use an extension cord to bring a socket to another location if you don't have one nearby, hence my answer Including extension cords.
    – Element115
    Commented Mar 15, 2018 at 15:52
  • I believe that the more typical UK term for #2 is extension lead. Commented Mar 15, 2018 at 16:03
  • Thanks for the input, I added to answer and gave credit.
    – Element115
    Commented Mar 15, 2018 at 16:11
  • An extension cord is generally a single electric cord with a plug at one end and a socket at the other. Also, it may have multiple sockets according to Wikipedia, but generally does not. I would not say that an extension cord is "similar" to a power strip. One is for making cords longer and the other is for plugging in various things on one strip. Their functions are different. They may be used in tandem with each other, yes.
    – Lambie
    Commented Mar 15, 2018 at 16:32

Yes, the image you attached would indeed be called a "power strip".

A "power outlet" would be a socket for power plugs that is attached to the wall or some similar surface (floor, etc).

Alternatively, you may call one of the sockets in the power strip a "power outlet", as in "Are there any [power] outlets left in the power strip that are still empty? I need to plug in my charger."


What you have in the picture is a power strip or a power bar.

See this Wikipedia entry for more information.

A power outlet, power point, outlet, receptacle, or socket is ​a device in a wall that you put a plug into in order to connect electrical equipment to the power supply of a building. (Oxford Dictionary). It can also refer to any of the individual sockets on a power strip.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .