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collect dust

To be in a state of disuse for a prolonged period of time. Why do you want another video game console? You already have three collecting dust under the television! My father has lots of old trinkets and memorabilia collecting dust in the attic.
See also: collect, dust

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 (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 around (someone or something)

To gather around someone or something. The kids collected around the clown to watch him make balloon animals.
See also: around, collect

collect for (someone or something)

To solicit money, especially that which is owed, for a particular reason. People keep calling to collect for my credit card bills. There's a boy at the door collecting for charity.
See also: collect

collect (something) from (someone)

1. To solicit or gather something, often money, from someone. There's a boy at the entrance collecting money from people for charity. They're doing a food drive at work, and they want to collect canned food from us.
2. To obtain a biological specimen from someone, as for medical testing. We'll need to collect a urine sample from you.
See also: collect

collect on (something)

To request or pursue something that has been offered or promised to one. Remember when you offered to watch the baby? Well, I need to collect on that now. It's time to collect on that debt he owes me.
See also: collect, on

collect up

To gather items. A noun or pronoun can be used between "collect" and "up." I need someone to help me collect up all of these donations for the food drive. Collect your toys up—it's time for bed!
See also: collect, up

collect around someone or something

to gather around someone or something; to accumulate around someone or something. The guests collected around the table that held the birthday cake. The children collected around the birthday boy.
See also: around, collect

collect (money) for someone or something

to solicit money for the benefit of someone or something. I would like to collect some money for Fred, who is in the hospital. I am collecting for the church building fund.
See also: collect

collect (money) for something

to solicit money that is owed. I'm collecting money for payment on your loan. Someone is calling to collect for the newspaper delivery.
See also: collect

collect on something

to take or receive payment on a debt or promise. I have come to collect on your debt. I will have to assign your account to an agency to collect on this bill.
See also: collect, on

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

collect something from someone

1. to gather up something from someone; to gather money from someone. I'm here to collect used clothing from you. She is out collecting donations from the neighbors.
2. to take a medical specimen from a person. I am here to collect a urine specimen from the patient. The phlebotomist collected the specimen from Todd and left the room.
See also: collect

collect something up

to gather something up. Collect your things up, and let's go. I collected up all my luggage and left.
See also: collect, up

collect your wits


gather your wits

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

collect yourself/your thoughts

1 try to control your emotions and become calm: I’m fine — I just need a minute to collect myself.
2 prepare yourself mentally for something: She paused to collect her thoughts before entering the interview room.
See also: collect, thought

collect/gather your ˈwits

try to become calm and think clearly: After such a shock I found it difficult to gather my wits.
See also: collect, gather, wit

re-collect (oneself)

To become composed again, especially after one has been flustered or confused.
References in periodicals archive ?
info is for users to collect their friends, colleagues or classmates (i.
When your teacher says "Go," the koalas will collect the "leaves.
The court noted that when a farmer collects seeds he is committing an intentional act.
The teacher holds a parent meeting at the beginning of the year and collects postdated checks from each family.
Bill Malinoff, 86, shows several of the bottles and cans he collects by the thousands to raise funds for the City of Hope.
One couple collects toy Noah's Arks and has given over their sunroom to one that is over seven feet tall.
An ENT practice that has 225 encounters per week and collects an estimated $750,000 in fees spends approximately one-quarter of its income just to collect what it is owed
He doesn't discuss, for example, the mystery of the disinterested collector who collects for reasons other than prestige or money.
A positive aspect of the packaging ordinance is its aiming at free-market solutions," says Birgitta Grotemeyer of Interseroh, a German company that collects transport packaging.
If the spouse also collects on the employee's benefits, this family would lose $27 in social security benefits over 20 years.
Network Intelligence collects all the event data produced by users as they attempt to gain access to corporate networks using RSA SecurID authenticators.
Despite moving toward strictly fiber recovery (the existing curbside program collects fiber and containers), Heinrich feels that the company should be able to collect, on average, around the 1,100 tons per month volume that the city is presently collecting.
Barbara Thunell of Canoga Park, for example, collects everything she can find on the late comedian Jack Benny, and Beverly Schwartz of Tujunga prizes ``Wizard of Oz'' and ``Gone With the Wind'' memorabilia.
SAN FRANCISCO -- IODA -- the Independent Online Distribution Alliance -- today announced it has signed a deal with SoundExchange, the nonprofit performance rights organization that collects and distributes royalties for sound recordings played on webcasts, satellite radio and television, and digital cable television.
Official Payments serves 51 other local government entities within Wisconsin, and also collects state taxes on behalf of the Wisconsin Department of Revenue.