An electrical connector is an electro-mechanical device used to join electrical terminations and create an electrical circuit. Electrical connectors consist of plugs (male-ended) and jacks (female-ended). The connection may be temporary, as for portable equipment, require a tool for assembly and removal, or serve as a permanent electrical joint between two wires or devices. An adapter can be used to effectively bring together dissimilar connectors.
Hundreds of types of electrical connectors are manufactured for power, signal and control applications. Connectors may join two lengths of flexible copper wire or cable, or connect a wire or cable to an electrical terminal.
In computing, an electrical connector can also be known as a physical interface (compare physical layer in OSI model of networking). Cable glands, known as cable connectors in the US, connect wires to devices mechanically rather than electrically and are distinct from quick-disconnects performing the latter.
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