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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Nearby phrases

Some more phrases from our dictionary similar to deer in the headlights

How to pronounce this phrase?

  1. Alex
    Alex
    US English
    Daniel
    Daniel
    British
    Karen
    Karen
    Australian
    Veena
    Veena
    Indian

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

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