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 ?
Give me time to collect my wits, Father," said he, with a smile that showed that his father's foibles did not prevent his son from loving and honoring him.
Now that I was on deck and had a chance to collect my wits, the pieces of the puzzle started falling into place.