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 ?
The affair has so terribly impressed me that even now I cannot fully collect my thoughts.
Has been here some days--three or four--I don't know how many-- I can't collect my thoughts.
So soon as I could at all collect my thoughts, I sent for Joram, and begged him to provide me a conveyance in which it could be got to London in the night.
I will sit in the parlor awhile, and collect my thoughts.
Emma was so supportive and Eckersley House offered me some respite - a haven where I could collect my thoughts and overcome my demons and get my strength back for Aston.
Viveka said: "It's hard to collect my thoughts and they are mixed with tears that never want to stop flowing.
I walked away to collect my thoughts but then went back to take a proper look.
It is a fine place to collect my thoughts, no boats drift on this quiet Wednesday with feather clouds foretelling more storms so I enjoy my time here whilst I may on this rare sun-kissed mid-November day.
I stayed there for a while trying to collect my thoughts, no bag means no clothes for the interview scheduled in Beirut.
But I'm determined to do this, both to collect my thoughts about mum and dad and to help Maggie's.
After I had time to collect my thoughts, I realized that I could have been seriously injured or killed because I didn't stay focused on the flight deck.
I've got to try to collect my thoughts and move onto the next race.
It took me about 24 hours to collect my thoughts and tell my husband - I thought it would worry him.
4 : to gain or regain control of <After losing my way, I had to stop and collect my thoughts.
It's a place of beauty where I can collect my thoughts and enjoy family life without PlayStations or Nintendos.