get a grip

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get a grip

1. verb To get a good physical hold on something. In order to remove the bolt, I needed to get a grip on the wrench.
2. verb To have a newfound understanding of a topic or concept. The teacher spent extra time going over the material in class because she wanted her students to get a grip on the subject matter before they took the exam.
3. verb To control one's reactions or emotions. Often used as an imperative urging someone to calm down. After losing her job, Sarah needed to calm down and get a grip on herself in order to drive home safely. Spilled soup is not a big deal, get a grip! You're not going to be able to think clearly until you get a grip on yourself.
See also: get, grip

get a grip

keep or recover your self-control.
2000 Jo-Ann Goodwin Danny Boy I took a deep breath, trying desperately to get a grip, to hold myself together.
See also: get, grip

get a grip

Get hold of yourself, calm down. This imperative had several earlier meanings; one, dating from the 1940s in the military, was to put effort into what one was doing. Another, in college slang a few decades later, was to pay attention. The current meaning, however, is the one that has survived. In a Boston Globe editorial (Oct. 31, 2004) describing former New York City mayor Ed Koch’s complaint that the Democratic National Convention in Boston “had no excitement,” the writer said, “Get a grip, Ed. It was only our first one. Beginner’s luck.” The usage is the converse of to lose one’s grip, to lose composure, first recorded in 1875 and cited by the OED. See also get a handle on something.
See also: get, grip