have (one's) wits about (one)(redirected from have their wits about them)
have (one's) wits about (one)
To stay calm and rational, especially in times of stress. Luckily, the teacher had her wits about her and was able to evacuate all of her students from the burning building.
have one's wits about one
Also, keep one's wits about one. Remain alert or calm, especially in a crisis. For example, After the collision I had my wits about me and got his name and license number, or Being followed was terrifying, but Kate kept her wits about her and got home safely. [Early 1600s]
have your wits about you
If you have your wits about you, you are alert and ready to take action in a difficult or new situation. You've got to have your wits about you when you're driving a car. Note: You can also say that you keep your wits about you with the same meaning. Obviously divers need to keep their wits about them. Note: You can also say that you need your wits about you, meaning that it is important for you to behave in this way. You need your wits about you when you're dealing with people like this.