[ mawth-bawl, moth- ]
/ ˈmɔθˌbɔl, ˈmɒθ- /
verb (used with object)
to put into storage or reserve; inactivate.
inactive; unused; stored away: a mothball fleet.
Hone In vs. Home InDoes a plane home in on a target or hone in on it? Does a musician hone her skills or home them? Are these two verbs interchangeable or do they have discrete meanings? Today we explore the origins and uses of hone and home. Hone entered English as a noun for a pointed rock used as a landmark. In the 1400s, it began to be …
- in disuse or in storage, especially with reference to standby equipment.
- (of ideas) dismissed as unworthy of further deliberation.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for in mothballs
/ (ˈmɒθˌbɔːl) /
Also called: camphor ball a small ball of camphor or naphthalene used to repel clothes moths in stored clothing, blankets, etc
put in mothballs to postpone work on (a project, activity, etc)
to prepare (a ship, aircraft, etc) for a long period of storage by sealing all openings with plastic to prevent corrosion
to take (a factory, plant, etc) out of operation but maintain it so that it can be used in the future
to postpone work on (a project, activity, etc)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012