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in mothballs

In storage, either literally or figuratively. Mothballs—little balls composed of a pungent chemical used to deter moths—are often kept in closets, attics, and other places where clothes are stored. I'm so glad that I can finally get my summer clothes out and put my winter clothes back in mothballs. That plane is in mothballs while we wait for a new shipment of parts. I did like your idea, Tom, but we have to keep it in mothballs for now while we finish our outstanding projects.
See also: mothball

bring something out of mothballs

Fig. to bring something out of storage and into use; to restore something to active service. They were going to bring a number of ships out of mothballs, but the war ended before they needed them.
See also: bring, mothball, of, out

put something in mothballs

1. Lit. to put something into storage in mothballs. He put his winter coat in storage with mothballs each fall and had to air it out for a week each spring.
2. Fig. to put something into storage or reserve. (Often said of warships.) The navy put the old cruiser in mothballs and no one ever expected to see it again. Let's just put this small bicycle in mothballs until we hear of a child who can use it.
See also: mothball, put

put in mothballs

Defer indefinitely or for a very long time, as in We've put the plans for a new library in mothballs. This expression alludes to storing woolen clothing or other items with marble-size balls of naphthalene or camphor to prevent them from being damaged by moths. [1940s]
See also: mothball, put
References in periodicals archive ?
Mothball gave me a gentle nip, then cuddled down to enjoy being scratched.
The company yesterday released the following statement: DISAPPOINTED: Dave Telford "After completing a company-wide review of its production facilities throughout Europe, Schmitz Cargobull has decided to temporarily mothball its UK assembly plant in Harelaw, County Durham.
based in Houston, Texas, is one of the largest wholesale electric power generating companies in the United States with over 14,000 megawatts of generation capacity, of which nearly 3,000 megawatts are currently in mothball status.
This includes Unit 3, which is currently in mothball status.
Terra estimates that it will spend as much as $5 million to mothball the plant and for employee separation costs.
The Swarland Brick Company, based near Rothbury, has revealed it is seeking to make most of its 30 staff redundant and to mothball its site due to what it calls the worst building recession since the 1940s.
Despite the Prime Minister's comments, Corus issued a statement confirming it will start to partially mothball the steelworks on Friday.
s majority-owned subsidiary, announced today that it will extend the mothball status of two gas-fired generating units totaling 926 MW through November 2003.
Power firm International Power is to mothball half the generation capacity of its North Wales power station.
Outlining a fresh round of job losses, Mr Kroese said he will decide in June whether to mothball the Wallsend yard.
s wholly owned subsidiary, announced today that it will mothball 3,400 MW of gas-fired generation through at least May of 2003.
The decision to mothball the plant suggests that Corus did not really want to keep it open or sell it to another steel company.
The proposals merely mothball some of the facilities.
Children Suffer Majority of Incidences Caused By Toxic Mothball Chemicals
May 8, 2009: Corus announces its plan to mothball the Teesside Cast Products blast furnace.