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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 ?
As pressure grows to curtail the business of sending mothballed vessels overseas to developing countries to be scrapped, the upside for domestic ship scrappers grows.
Also, effective May 1, Reliant has retired the 56-megawatt Wayne combustion turbine and mothballed the 57-megawatt Warren plant.
Its capacity is over 500,000 b/d, with another 200,000 b/d and two GOSPs mothballed.
If it's mothballed, I appreciate there would be job losses, but at least there would be the possibility it would return.
The agreement's required purchase quantities are about the same as the mothballed plant's manufacturing capacity.
Traditionally, flowlines that are mothballed each year are filled with inhibited diesel for preserving them.
Thailand's Sahaviriya Steel Industries (SSI) had hoped to restart production at the mothballed Redcar site in December but twice postponed the date it was expected to reopen.
A STEEL mill in South Wales is to be temporarily mothballed, with the loss of 115 jobs, it has been announced.
A HOT strip mill at a huge steel plant is to be mothballed because of "continuing poor demand", with the loss of 115 jobs, it was announced yesterday.
The plant was partially mothballed earlier this year after an international consortium pulled out of a contract.
FEARS a mothballed ward could spell the end for a community hospital have been eased.
The gas-fired plant, which was mothballed in March, would be brought back in two stages, with one unit returning in April and the second in July, a spokesman said.
Plants/units to be mothballed in Pennsylvania include Warren, 57 MW; Shawnee, 20 MW; and Blossburg, 19 MW.
However, as conditions for steelmakers in North America improved in 2002 and 2003, several entrepreneurs--as well as surviving steelmakers--seem poised to re-introduce some of the temporary mothballed plants.