deer in the headlights

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A mental state of high arousal caused by anxiety fear, panic, surpriseand/or confusion, or substance abuse. The behavioral signs are like a deer subjected to a car's headlights, such as widely opened eyes and a lack of motor reactions.

Etymology:

  • From the image of a deer caught in a car's headlights – wide-open eyes, lack of motor reactions, etc.
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Submitted on September 01, 2009

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"deer in the headlights." Phrases.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 27 Jan. 2020. <https://www.phrases.com/phrase/deer-in-the-headlights_3220>.

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