mothball


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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

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

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.
TO BE MOTHBALLED Swarland Brick Company's base DARK DAYS Staff threatened with redundancy at Swarland Brick Company.
"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.
UNION chiefs have welcomed indications from the head of Indian steel giant Tata that a Thai steel company is pursuing talks about the potential purchase of a mothballed Teesside steel plant.
"We hope it is a proper mothball and that the company is genuine and that this plant can be restarted because we do believe there are credible people out there who want to take this plant over."
WORKERS in one of the UK's biggest steel-making areas were dealt a savage pre-Christmas blow yesterday with news that a giant plant is to be mothballed with the loss of 1,700 jobs.
The proposals merely mothball some of the facilities."
Union leaders attacked the decision to mothball the plant and stepped up warnings of industrial action to try to save the jobs.
A MOVE to mothball one of the biggest steel plants in the UK will have no impact on steel jobs in North Wales, a company pledged last night.
Already the firm's largest ongoing project the African Mercy has been moved to Hebburn and today final preparations will be made to mothball the yard.
Corus was criticised last week in a report by the North East Select Committee, which said the decision to mothball TCP was shortsighted.
We very much regret having to mothball the quarry at such a difficult time."
May 8, 2009: Corus announces its plan to mothball the Teesside Cast Products blast furnace.
Owner Corus confirmed it will begin to mothball the Redcar plant today with the loss of up to 1,600 jobs.