mothball


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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

1. To take an object out of storage after a period of disuse. 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. Now that the weather is getting colder, it's time to bring our winter clothes out of mothballs. This new shipment of parts will allow us to bring the plane out of mothballs soon.
2. By extension, to begin to use or implement something. I did like your idea, Tom, but we can't bring it out of mothballs until we finish our outstanding projects.
See also: bring, mothball, of, out

put (something) in mothballs

1. Literally, to put cloths into storage, as in a closet or attic, often packed with mothballs to keep moths from eating the material. I'm so glad that I can finally get my summer clothes out and put my winter clothes back in mothballs. I'm putting my maternity clothes in mothballs, because we might try to have another baby in a few years.
2. To store something, especially a vehicle of some kind, in reserve for future use. We put the plane in mothballs while we wait for a new shipment of parts. The famed warship has been put in mothballs after over 40 years of navy service.
3. To put something on hold; to defer, delay, or postpone something until a future. I did like your idea, Tom, but we have to put it in mothballs for now while we finish our other projects. The city council has put the refurbishment project in mothballs due to a budgetary conflict.
See also: mothball, put

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

in mothballs

unused but kept in good condition for future use.
See also: mothball
References in periodicals archive ?
Mothball sniffed at the carrots, then settled down and began to chew.
But we need to know within the next couple of months where we are going to get more contracts, otherwise we are definitely going to mothball.
The downturn in construction activity has already forced Hanson to mothball its nearby St George quarry in Abergele and reduce staff at its Castle Cement works at Padeswood.
December 2009: Corus says it will mothball TCP with the loss of around 1,700 jobs.
The Tees Valley Industrial Programme (TVIP) was drawn up for the process industry but was announced in December, just days after Tata Steel's decision to mothball its Teesside Cast Products plant.
THE future looks bleak for the future of Teesside Cast Products steel plant and its 1,600 workers as owner Corus confirmed yesterday it would start to mothball the site on Friday.
The answer the management has given is that they are looking at options and one of the options is to mothball, but no decisions have been made yet.
So let's see some of it or mothball the place until a better use is found for it.
CONCERNS have been raised over the future of the pounds 100m worth of carbon credits which steelmaker Corus is set to receive despite planning to mothball its plant site on Teesside.
But as steel fortunes improved, Corus in January of this year reversed its decision to mothball the South Bank coke ovens, saving about 100 jobs and said TCP could run until raw materials ran out, extending the life of the plant by about three weeks.
Corus said the failure of the take-off agreement was behind the decision to mothball the plant.
The talks between Kirby Adams and Lord Mandelson in London next month come in the wake of Corus's decision to mothball its steel plant in Redcar, with the loss of 1,700 jobs.
The Tees Valley Industrial Programme (TVIP) was drawn up for the process industry but was announced in December, just days after Corus' decision to mothball its Teesside Cast Products plant.
The plan to mothball the plant comes as brick production across the UK is set to drop to its lowest level since the 1940s.