like a deer in (the) headlights

(redirected from Deer in the Headlights)
Also found in: Acronyms.

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
References in periodicals archive ?
There's your brother on the other end going for it, doing his Mick Jagger, and you are like a deer in the headlights.
They also utilized night counts by driving a determined route and observing deer in the headlights of their vehicle.
While you may be tempted to use your high-beam headlights when a deer is directly in front of you, they could cause a deer to stop in its tracks rather than running to safety just "like a deer in the headlights.
Back then, Davis was like the proverbial deer in the headlights, paralyzed by blackouts that started in San Diego and within months darkened most of the state.
Small businesses no longer need to feel like a deer in the headlights when considering constructing or updating their Web sites.
Sometimes their eyes get real big, like a deer in the headlights, like they don't know what hit them.
Couric said Leno's challenges will include reading the TelePrompTer without looking like ``a deer in the headlights.