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See also: moth-ball and moth ball



Alternative formsEdit


moth +‎ ball


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mothball (plural mothballs)

  1. 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.

Derived termsEdit



mothball (third-person singular simple present mothballs, present participle mothballing, simple past and past participle mothballed)

  1. (transitive) To store or shelve (something no longer used).
    They mothballed the old version after the new one came out.
  2. (transitive) To stop using (something), but keep it in good condition.
    • 2014, A teacher, "Choosing a primary school: a teacher's guide for parents", The Guardian, 23 September 2014:
      Some schools might have an art studio, an area of forestry in the playground, or a performance stage in the hall – all exceptional assets. Just check they get plenty of use and aren't mothballed while the school concentrates on (you guessed it) maths and literacy.


Derived termsEdit