collect (one's) thoughts

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collect (one's) thoughts

To pause and think before speaking or taking action. Can I please just have a second to collect my thoughts before I respond? Susie paused to collect her thoughts and come up with a tactful response to her seething sister.
See also: collect, thought

collect one's thoughts

Fig. to take time to think through an issue; to give some thought to a topic. I'll speak to the visitors in a moment. I need some time to collect my thoughts.
See also: collect, thought
References in classic literature ?
Ferrari put her hand to her head, and tried to collect her thoughts.
As soon as she could collect her thoughts, the first idea that naturally occurred to Mrs.
Marianne was spared from the troublesome feelings of contempt and resentment, on this impertinent examination of their features, and on the puppyism of his manner in deciding on all the different horrors of the different toothpick-cases presented to his inspection, by remaining unconscious of it all; for she was as well able to collect her thoughts within herself, and be as ignorant of what was passing around her, in Mr.
Rose, who had had time to collect her thoughts, at once related, in a few natural words, all that had befallen Oliver since he left Mr.
She will be taking a quick moment to collect her thoughts before picking up the receiver.
He said she could go to his grandmother's home for a coffee and to collect her thoughts.
The man, allegedly McDowell, said she could go to his grandmother's home for a coffee and to collect her thoughts.
After suffering a series of setbacks - a house fire destroyed all her possessions and a trusted employee embezzled a large amount of money - Grady decided it was time to collect her thoughts.
But as Eleanor paws-ed to collect her thoughts she noticed there was nothing inside the basket.