deer


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like a deer in (the) headlights

In a state or manner of paralyzing surprise, fear, or bewilderment. Likened to the tendency of deer to freeze in place in front of an oncoming vehicle. When she asked me to marry her, I could only stand there like a deer in headlights. He froze like a deer in the headlights when I caught him taking money out of the register.
See also: deer, headlight, like

deer-in-headlights

(Used before a noun.) Of a paralyzed manner or appearance, as due to surprise, fear, shock, or bewilderment. Likened to the tendency of deer to freeze in place in front of an oncoming vehicle. He had this dopey deer-in-headlights look on his face when I asked him where the money had gone.

a deer in the headlights

Someone caught in a state of paralyzing surprise, fear, or bewilderment. Likened to the tendency of deer to freeze in place in front of an oncoming vehicle. Often used in the phrase "like a deer in the headlights." Mary turned into a deer in the headlights when she forgot her lines in the middle of the play. He froze like a deer in the headlights when I caught him taking money out of the register. When she asked me to marry her, I could only stand there like a deer in the headlights.
See also: deer, headlight

be like a deer caught in the headlights

To be visibly startled and frozen in fear. I was like a deer caught in the headlights when my mom asked about that hideous sweater she gave me. When the security alarm started blaring, the burglar was like a deer caught in the headlights.
See also: caught, deer, headlight, like

like a rabbit caught in the headlights

or

like a deer caught in the headlights

If someone is like a rabbit caught in the headlights or like a deer caught in the headlights, they are so frightened or nervous that they do not know what to do. He just sat there, like a rabbit caught in the headlights. Diane fixes me with her cold, blue eyes: I am the proverbial deer caught in the headlights. Note: This expression is very variable. For example, you can just say that someone is caught or frozen in the headlights. He was caught in the headlights as he attempted to answer a string of questions about his relationship. The best thing for a writer caught in the headlights of unexpected celebrity is simply to keep writing and publishing. Note: Animals such as rabbits or deer sometimes remain still because they do not know which way to run when the light from a vehicle's headlights shines on them at night.

(be caught/freeze like) a deer in the ˈheadlights

(also (be caught like) a rabbit in the ˈheadlights) used to describe somebody who appears so frightened that they cannot think clearly and do not know what to do or say: The senator was caught like a deer in the headlights in a TV interview.a deer-in-the-headlights look
See also: deer, headlight
References in periodicals archive ?
The expanding urban sprawl finds more roads being built through wildlife habitats displacing deer from their natural habitat, leading to a rise in deer-vehicle collisions, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.
But Animal Aid say the economic benefit of deer culling raises serious questions about the need to cull at all.
The proposal is contained in a new five-year action plan published by the Welsh Government to tackle the growing number of deer.
Scottish Natural Heritage revealed the figures yesterday and warned motorists that crashes involving deer increase at this time of year.
In areas inhabited by mule deer and white-tailed deer, they typically occupy different habitats and segregate spatially across the landscape (Geist 1998, Lingle 2002).
Prior to white settlement of the "New World," tens of millions of deer blanketed the continent, but their population density was kept in check by free-roaming natural predators such as bears, wolves and mountain lions.
A study, funded by the Deer Commission for Scotland, has revealed deer-vehicle accidents are on the increase.
Wildlife scientist Professor David Macdonald, says: "It's not just that the number of deer is increasing.
This time of year many of the calls I get are requests for deer signs, and unfortunately the front desk gets many more calls to pick up dead animals - 360 calls in 2008.
We estimated densities of deer with the aid of a helicopter during February 2001.
I was edging closer to a greenshank feeding in a pond on the Tees Estuary last week, with my binoculars close to my eyes, when I virtually bumped into two roe deer.
In a news release, the IDNR said hunters harvested a preliminary total of 51,365 deer statewide during the weekend of Nov.
As indicated by fossil remains, the fallow deer is probably native to western Asia and much of Western Europe.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol cautions motorists to watch out for deer on or near the roadways this fall season.