collect (one's) wits

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collect (one's) wits

To try to calm oneself and think clearly and rationally. Take a moment to collect your wits, then tell us how the accident happened.
See also: collect, wit

collect your wits

or

gather your wits

LITERARY
If you collect your wits or gather your wits, you make an effort to control yourself and become calm again, after a frightening or shocking experience. I took a deep breath and tried to gather my wits. The news was so shocking that I was scarcely able to take it in. Sinking into a leather armchair, I attempted to collect my wits and decide what on earth I was going to tell Lucy.
See also: collect, wit
References in classic literature ?
He might grab that wad of bills and be out of sight in the darkness before the other could collect his wits.
He must now battle enemies old and new, and solve some perplexing puzzles in order to collect his wits and rejoin the real world.