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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 ?
If investor i has mothballing option, the profit function is given by
Many older mothballing procedures set out desiccants in open trays to pick up residual moisture.
I hope that SSI s announcement that they are mothballing the furnace gives some hope that steel making could be restarted on Teesside in the future.
Around 700 people are still employed at TCP but SSI is understood to be keen to create a further 800 jobs at the plant, which employed around 1,600 people prior to mothballing.
Corus is blaming the mothballing on an international consortium, which it said pulled out of a contract halfway through a 10-year deal.
Without the #4 paper machine, we have no present need to run the pulp mill, although we are mothballing the asset to preserve our options in the future.
As a further consequence of the mothballing, it is proposed to reduce by around 1,700 employees - including those affected by the mothballing of the South Bank Coke Ovens which was announced previously.
But now he has begun consultation on the redundancies, which would see almost all the workers laid off, and the mothballing of the site.
THE steel industry boss who announced the mothballing of a major Corus plant in Teesside is to leave the company in October, it emerged at the weekend.
STEELWORKERS are to be balloted for industrial action over the mothballing of a huge plant, with the loss of up to 1,500 jobs, it was announced yesterday.
Summary: Steelmaker Corus is to start mothballing a huge plant on Friday, resulting in the loss of up to 1,600 jobs.
As the Donaldsonville facility's other manufacturing plants were previously shut down, the mothballing of the ammonia plant completes the transition from an integrated manufacturing facility to a facility used solely as a storage and distribution terminal.
Unions have warned that a mothballing could cost the taxpayer hundreds of millions of pounds.
The German firm announced in June that it was mothballing its truck trailer factory in Harelaw, County Durham, with the loss of 66 production jobs.
As mothballing at Corus's huge Redcar site began, ending 170 years of mass steelmaking on Teesside, workers described the atmosphere as like a funeral.