mothball

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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 ?
Once approved, the measure will impose penalties on people who will be caught selling mothballs in Quezon City.
Businesses may also lose their business permits if caught selling mothballs.
Holding his nose, he says: ``They are just mothballs that were marketed in Beatle wrapping - not mothballs used by the actual Beatles for their suits.
NOT TO BE SNIFFED AT: The Beatles mothballs which are set to go under the hammer at LIPA
The woman, who attends a unit for senile dementia sufferers, had intended the mothballs for her clothes and put them in her pocket.
A hospital spokesman said: "We believe only three had eaten the mothballs, but decided to let nature take its course rather than distress them by pumping their stomachs.
Mothballs made with naphthalene can be poisonous if sucked on or eaten.
Naphthalene mothballs can be especially dangerous for those with sickle cell anemia, sickle cell trait, and a common enzyme deficiency called G6PD.
One hazardous aspect of mothballs is that children sometimes swallow them (there were reports of 4,918 kids under the age of six eating moth repellents in 1989).
Ecowaste Coalition said, "The withdrawal in Bulgaria of mothballs imported from the Philippines should be a wakeup call for makers and users of naphthalene-based pest control products.
When a friend told me about this idea, I initially bought some material from a craft store, and made little bags to hang the mothballs in the attic (our attic is not used for storage).
Mothballs may be as bad for you as they are good for your sweaters.