mothball [môth′bôl΄]
a small ball of naphthalene or, sometimes, camphor, the fumes of which repel moths, as from woolens, furs, etc.
to store with protective covering or set aside indefinitely for possible future use
in storage or reserve [a mothball fleet]
in mothballs or out of mothballs
put into (or taken from) a condition of being stored or in reserve

English World dictionary. . 2014.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • mothball — moth ball v. t. To put into long term storage; as, to mothball the battleships not needed after the war. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • mothball — mothball; de·mothball; …   English syllables

  • mothball — moth ball n. A small sphere of camphor or naphthalene used to keep moths away from stored clothing. Syn: camphor ball. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • mothball — ► NOUN ▪ a small ball of naphthalene or camphor, placed among stored clothes to deter clothes moths. ► VERB 1) store (clothes) among or in mothballs. 2) put into storage or on hold indefinitely. ● in mothballs Cf. ↑in mothballs …   English terms dictionary

  • mothball — ▪ I. mothball moth‧ball 1 [ˈmɒθbɔːl ǁ ˈmɒːθbɒːl] verb [transitive] 1. if an organization mothballs a factory, building etc, it closes it or does not use it for a long time but may open it or use it again in the future: • The oil company plans to… …   Financial and business terms

  • Mothball — Mothballs Mothballs are small balls of chemical pesticide and deodorant used when storing clothing and other articles susceptible to damage from mold or moth larvae (especially clothes moths like Tineola bisselliella). Their use when clothing is… …   Wikipedia

  • mothball — {{11}}mothball (n.) also moth ball, moth ball, naphthalene ball stored among fabrics to keep off moths, 1891, from MOTH (Cf. moth) + BALL (Cf. ball) (n.1). {{12}}mothball (v.) 1902 in a literal sense (to store away with mothballs), from MOTHBALL… …   Etymology dictionary

  • mothball — I UK [ˈmɒθˌbɔːl] / US [ˈmɔθˌbɔl] noun [countable] Word forms mothball : singular mothball plural mothballs a small white ball made from a chemical with a strong smell that you put with clothes in order to prevent them being damaged by moths II UK …   English dictionary

  • mothball — [[t]mɒ̱θbɔːl, AM mɔ͟ːθ [/t]] mothballs, mothballing, mothballed 1) N COUNT A mothball is a small ball made of a special chemical, which you can put among clothes or blankets in order to keep moths away. 2) VERB If someone in authority mothballs a …   English dictionary

  • mothball — /mawth bawl , moth /, n. 1. a small ball of naphthalene or sometimes of camphor for placing in closets or other storage areas to repel moths from clothing, blankets, etc. 2. in mothballs, a. in disuse or in storage, esp. with reference to standby …   Universalium

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