Mothball meaning

môthbôl, mŏth-
Frequency:
A marble-sized ball, originally of camphor but now of naphthalene, stored with clothes to repel moths.
noun
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To remove (a ship, for example) from active service or use and put into protective storage.
verb
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1
A small ball of naphthalene or, sometimes, camphor, the fumes of which repel moths, as from woolens or furs.
noun
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To store with protective covering or set aside indefinitely for possible future use.
verb
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In storage or reserve.

A mothball fleet.

adjective
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A small ball of chemical pesticide and deodorant placed in or around clothing and other articles susceptible to damage from mold or moth larvae in order to protect them from this damage; mothballs have either naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene as their active ingredient.
noun
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To store or shelve (something that is no longer used)

They mothballed the old version after the new one came out.

verb
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To defer indefinitely; shelve.

Mothball a project.

verb
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in (or out of) mothballs
  • put into (or taken from) a condition of being stored or in reserve
idiom
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Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

in (<i>or</i> out of) mothballs

Origin of mothball