1

mothball

noun moth·ball \ ˈmȯth-ˌbȯl \

Definition of mothball

1 :a ball made formerly of camphor but now often of naphthalene and paradichlorobenzene and used to keep moths from clothing
2 mothballs plural :a condition of protective storage
  • put the ships in mothballs after the war
; also :a state of having been rejected for further use or dismissed from further consideration

Recent Examples of mothball from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mothball.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of mothball

1892


2

mothball

verb

Definition of mothball

transitive verb
1 :to deactivate (something, such as a ship) and prevent deterioration chiefly by dehumidification
2 :to withdraw from use or service and keep in reserve :put aside

Examples of mothball in a Sentence

  1. Many navy ships were mothballed after the war.

Recent Examples of mothball from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mothball.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of mothball

1926


MOTHBALL Defined for English Language Learners

mothball

noun

Definition of mothball for English Language Learners

  • : a small ball that contains a strong-smelling chemical and that is used to keep moths away from stored clothing


mothball

verb

Definition of mothball for English Language Learners

  • : to stop using (something) while keeping it to be possibly used in the future



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