be like a deer caught in the headlights

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be like a deer caught in the headlights

To be visibly startled and frozen in fear. I was like a deer caught in the headlights when my mom asked about that hideous sweater she gave me. When the security alarm started blaring, the burglar was like a deer caught in the headlights.
See also: caught, deer, headlight, like
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Speaking live on CNN before the introduction of a resolution that was originally intended to condemn anti-Semitism, and indirectly Omar, but wound up condemning "all forms of hate," Pelosi looked like a deer caught in the headlights, stuck between one of the Democrats' traditional constituencies and the party's insurgent progressive base.
Pistol-boy's jaw drops like a drawbridge; he momentarily freezes like a deer caught in the headlights, then his feet take over without any command from the brain and he almost falls trying to make a clumsy high-speed exit.
Poor Phil looked like a deer caught in the headlights. Except these headlights were shining from a huge truck racing down the Port Tunnel.
Andrews was like a deer caught in the headlights as five went past him.
A saying wholly appropriate to this aspect is, "He looked like a deer caught in the headlights." We've all seen the figurative deer in headlights.
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