deer-in-headlights

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.
References in periodicals archive ?
In consideration of which, settling into a perpetual "deer-in-headlights" posture assures that one's accountabilities will lie fallow.