like a rabbit (caught) in (the) headlights

(redirected from rabbit in the headlights)

like a rabbit (caught) in (the) headlights

In a state or manner of paralyzing surprise, fear, or bewilderment. Likened to the tendency of rabbits to freeze in place in front of an oncoming vehicle. When she asked me to marry her, I could only stand there like a rabbit caught in headlights. He froze like a rabbit in the headlights when I caught him taking money out of the register.
See also: headlight, like, rabbit

like a rabbit caught in the headlights

or

like a deer caught in the headlights

If someone is like a rabbit caught in the headlights or like a deer caught in the headlights, they are so frightened or nervous that they do not know what to do. He just sat there, like a rabbit caught in the headlights. Diane fixes me with her cold, blue eyes: I am the proverbial deer caught in the headlights. Note: This expression is very variable. For example, you can just say that someone is caught or frozen in the headlights. He was caught in the headlights as he attempted to answer a string of questions about his relationship. The best thing for a writer caught in the headlights of unexpected celebrity is simply to keep writing and publishing. Note: Animals such as rabbits or deer sometimes remain still because they do not know which way to run when the light from a vehicle's headlights shines on them at night.
References in periodicals archive ?
ALAN IRVINE admits that West Brom record signing Brown Ideye has looked like a rabbit in the headlights in the Premier League so far.
The Chancellor can either act to save the British economy or be paralysed like a rabbit in the headlights and watch it crash.
He's like a scared rabbit in the headlights at the moment, and the chance he had at the end should have been a goal.
I felt a bit like a rabbit in the headlights at Hoylake.
Michael Cera is shamefully under-used as the gauche teenage father, a terrified rabbit in the headlights caught in the middle of this bizarre situation.
Eriksson was a man caught like a rabbit in the headlights.
He behaved like the proverbial rabbit in the headlights.
Mr Greenhalgh, 40, said: "I lost the plot a little with my pitch but it was brutal the way the show edited it to make me look like a rabbit in the headlights.
Mark, of Edinburgh, 40, said: 'I lost the plot a little with my pitch but it was brutal the way the show edited it to make me look like a rabbit in the headlights.
She was like a rabbit in the headlights of a car, and is so nervous her eyes were like organ stops.
He declared: "I certainly felt like a rabbit in the headlights at Hoylake.
He declared: "I felt like a rabbit in the headlights at Hoylake.
Another added: "He is like a rabbit in the headlights in front of the cameras.
Shaun Wright-Phillips has no confidence because he is not playing and looked like a rabbit in the headlights at times.
The normally cool former foreign correspondent suddenly looked like a rabbit in the headlights.