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 ?
His heart was still proud and high, and he walked up to the seat which he had last occupied as a sixth-form boy, and sat himself down there to collect his thoughts.
"To be sure, he does," said little bustling Ruth, as she took the child, and began taking off a little blue silk hood, and various layers and wrappers of outer garments; and having given a twitch here, and a pull there, and variously adjusted and arranged him, and kissed him heartily, she set him on the floor to collect his thoughts. Baby seemed quite used to this mode of proceeding, for he put his thumb in his mouth (as if it were quite a thing of course), and seemed soon absorbed in his own reflections, while the mother seated herself, and taking out a long stocking of mixed blue and white yarn, began to knit with briskness.
They halted for a minute, during which he strove to collect his thoughts. He looked around; he was in a court surrounded by high walls; he heard the measured tread of sentinels, and as they passed before the light he saw the barrels of their muskets shine.
Mr Willet, after seeing them to the door, returned to collect his thoughts with the assistance of the boiler, and to listen to the storm of wind and rain, which had not yet abated one jot of its fury.
We were sending videos back and forth to each other," Hamilton said, pausing to collect his thoughts. "It was always difficult as some days he looked good, he was perky and saying 'I'm coming back, I'm feeling strong,' and other days, he had lost a lot of weight.
As that deal was being finalized, Patrick took a moment while at his part-time Wyoming home prior to a trip to Washington, D.C., to collect his thoughts on a radio industry combatant many not often thing of.
One other aspect that impressed was the way he would pause to collect his thoughts before answering.
He was told that if he wanted to make a complaint he would have to go downstairs but he returned to the dental room, where the dentist was sitting on a chair, trying to collect his thoughts and pull himself together after the outburst.
[T]he last time you interviewed him, he said he'd rather stay here, he'd rather collect his thoughts, enjoy his time with his family and in his city before he takes office, he said.
BLUEBIRDS defender Fabio da Silva will collect his thoughts after relegation by joining his twin brother Rafael at the family home near Rio de Janeiro and watching the World Cup.
In the meantime, Will seems to be thinking much more clearly now that he is able to collect his thoughts and process them freely.
That gave him enough time to calm down and collect his thoughts, so producing a positive, philosophical mood, rather than negativity and anger.
Judge Mr Justice Spencer briefly adjourned the Swansea Crown Court trial to collect his thoughts before passing sentence.
"He asked if Dr Piat could find a quiet secret location where John would be able to collect his thoughts and find respite from media attention.
Murray has said he was awake very early in the morning and took a drive to collect his thoughts and see storm damage.