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 (môth′bôl′, mŏth′-)
1. A marble-sized ball, originally of camphor but now of naphthalene, stored with clothes to repel moths.
2. mothballs
a. A condition of long storage for possible future use: put the battleship into mothballs.
b. A condition of being set aside or discarded: have put the plan into mothballs.
tr.v. moth·balled, moth·ball·ing, moth·balls
1. To remove (a ship, for example) from active service or use and put into protective storage.
2. To defer indefinitely; shelve: mothball a project.


1. (Elements & Compounds) Also called: camphor ball a small ball of camphor or naphthalene used to repel clothes moths in stored clothing, blankets, etc
2. put in mothballs to postpone work on (a project, activity, etc)
vb (tr)
3. (Nautical Terms) to prepare (a ship, aircraft, etc) for a long period of storage by sealing all openings with plastic to prevent corrosion
4. (Commerce) to take (a factory, plant, etc) out of operation but maintain it so that it can be used in the future
5. to postpone work on (a project, activity, etc)


(ˈmɔθˌbɔl, ˈmɒθ-)

1. a small ball of naphthalene or sometimes of camphor for placing in closets or other storage areas to repel moths.
2. in mothballs,
a. in reserve or storage.
b. in a state of disuse, rejection, or repudiation: That idea belongs in mothballs.
3. to put into storage; inactivate.
4. inactive; stored away: a mothball fleet.


Past participle: mothballed
Gerund: mothballing

I mothball
you mothball
he/she/it mothballs
we mothball
you mothball
they mothball
I mothballed
you mothballed
he/she/it mothballed
we mothballed
you mothballed
they mothballed
Present Continuous
I am mothballing
you are mothballing
he/she/it is mothballing
we are mothballing
you are mothballing
they are mothballing
Present Perfect
I have mothballed
you have mothballed
he/she/it has mothballed
we have mothballed
you have mothballed
they have mothballed
Past Continuous
I was mothballing
you were mothballing
he/she/it was mothballing
we were mothballing
you were mothballing
they were mothballing
Past Perfect
I had mothballed
you had mothballed
he/she/it had mothballed
we had mothballed
you had mothballed
they had mothballed
I will mothball
you will mothball
he/she/it will mothball
we will mothball
you will mothball
they will mothball
Future Perfect
I will have mothballed
you will have mothballed
he/she/it will have mothballed
we will have mothballed
you will have mothballed
they will have mothballed
Future Continuous
I will be mothballing
you will be mothballing
he/she/it will be mothballing
we will be mothballing
you will be mothballing
they will be mothballing
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been mothballing
you have been mothballing
he/she/it has been mothballing
we have been mothballing
you have been mothballing
they have been mothballing
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been mothballing
you will have been mothballing
he/she/it will have been mothballing
we will have been mothballing
you will have been mothballing
they will have been mothballing
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been mothballing
you had been mothballing
he/she/it had been mothballing
we had been mothballing
you had been mothballing
they had been mothballing
I would mothball
you would mothball
he/she/it would mothball
we would mothball
you would mothball
they would mothball
Past Conditional
I would have mothballed
you would have mothballed
he/she/it would have mothballed
we would have mothballed
you would have mothballed
they would have mothballed
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.mothball - a small sphere of camphor or naphthalene used to keep moths away from stored clothing
globe, orb, ball - an object with a spherical shape; "a ball of fire"
camphor - a resin obtained from the camphor tree; used in making celluloid and liniment
naphthalene - a white crystalline strong-smelling hydrocarbon made from coal tar or petroleum and used in organic synthesis and as a fumigant in mothballs
Verb1.mothball - put into long-term storage
store - find a place for and put away for storage; "where should we stow the vegetables?"; "I couldn't store all the books in the attic so I sold some"
كُرَة العُث
naftalin topu


A. Nbola f de naftalina
in mothballs (Naut) → en la reserva
to put sth in mothballs [+ project] → aparcar algo, dejar algo aparcado
B. VT [+ ship] → poner en la reserva; [+ project] → aparcar, dejar aparcado


[ˈmɒθbɔːl] nboule f de naphtalinemoth-eaten [ˈmɒθiːtən] adjmité(e)


[ˈmɒθˌbɔːl] npallina di naftalina


(moθ) plural moths (moθs) (American) (mo:ðz) noun
1. any of a large number of insects, rather like butterflies but with wider bodies, seen mostly at night and attracted by light.
2. a clothes moth. The moths have been at my evening dress.
clothes moth
a type of moth whose larva feeds on cloth and makes holes.
ˈmothball noun
a small ball of a chemical used to protect clothes from clothes moths.
ˈmoth-eaten adjective
(of cloth) eaten by moths. a moth-eaten blanket.
References in periodicals archive ?
A catalogue of cat repellents that I have used include pepper, special cat pellets, chilli powder, tea bags, coffee grounds, orange peel, chicken manure pellets, moth balls, plastic netting, carpet grippers and I have recently purchased a pair of ultrasonic repellant devices.
I've tried various things, including plugging their holes with moth balls, painting the wood, etc.
Moth balls will repel most major pests and keep them out of your equipment storage area.
Ers talwm, roedd pobl yn defnyddio moth balls i gadw gwyfynod draw o'u dillad.
Use moth balls or lavender moth-repelling scents in the wardrobe.
Other suggestions for mice repellents outdoors include Olbas Oil on old tea bags left on the surface of the pea and bean row, plus broken up moth balls.
I collect all the silica gel packets you get in the packaging with electrical goods and put them in the tool kit to absorb the dampness - moth balls do the same thing.
The hazardous materials collected by the EPA include: household cleaners, paints and related products, automotive fluids, batteries, lawn and garden-care products beauty products and medicines, fuel and oil tanks, misc-fluorescent lights, mercury thermometers, photographic chemicals, lighter fluids, shoe polish, fiberglass epoxy, swimming pool chemicals, moth balls, glue and mercury batteries.
Sky Farm Lane, skunk living under pool house that sprayed her dog; officer advised sprinkling the area with moth balls and using chicken wire to block off the area.
She was a tiny woman, stern and unsmiling, who smelled strongly of peppermints and the camphor of moth balls.
flies circling my head in the August heat, the scent of moth balls in my
The small number of moth balls that are not made from naphthalene are not affected by the restrictions.