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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

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

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 ?
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.
Its capacity is over 500,000 b/d, with another 200,000 b/d and two GOSPs mothballed.
He maintained the mothballed plant would endanger the lives of Filipinos.
He noted : 'Whether it be mothballed, activated or scrapped totally, my thrust is this administration will decide on it'.
The company, which paid pounds 300m last year for TCP and the blast furnace which had been mothballed in February 2010 with the loss of 800 jobs, had blamed industrial action and windy weather incapacitating its cranes for the delays.
Tata Steel said the facility is expected to remain mothballed until the UK economy and steel demand justify a restart of operations.
A STEEL mill in South Wales is to be temporarily mothballed, with the loss of 115 jobs, it has been announced.
The plant was partially mothballed earlier this year after an international consortium pulled out of a contract.
STEELY RESOLVE: Hundreds of protesters gather outside the Corus plant, which is set to be mothballed FAMILY PLEA: A girl and her dad
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.
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.
Saudi Aramco has an installed but partly mothballed production capacity of more than 10.
to acquire their Kirkland Lake operations which include the mothballed Macassa Mine and Lakeshore Mine.