keep (one's) wits about (one)

(redirected from keep his wits about him)

keep (one's) wits about (one)

To stay calm and rational, especially in times of stress. Luckily, the teacher kept her wits about her and was able to evacuate all of her students from the burning building.
See also: keep, wit

keep one's wits about (one)

Fig. to remain rational when threatened or under stress; to keep one's mind operating in a time of stress. If Jane hadn't kept her wits about her during the fire, things would have been much worse. I could hardly keep my wits about me.
See also: keep, wit

have/keep your ˈwits about you

be/remain quick to think and act in a demanding, difficult or dangerous situation: Mountaineering is dangerous, so you need to keep your wits about you.
See also: have, keep, wit
References in classic literature ?
It was for his interests that every laborer should work as hard as possible, and that while doing so he should keep his wits about him, so as to try not to break the winnowing machines, the horse rakes, the thrashing machines, that he should attend to what he was doing.
Here poor Ulysses would have certainly perished even in spite of his own destiny, if Minerva had not helped him to keep his wits about him.
Robinson has the experience to anticipate where the eightgoal striker will float but he'll have to keep his wits about him because Antenucci will be playing off his shoulder constantly.
Jennie Candlish's gelding travelled strongly in the race and forged clear after the wings of the final flight, but jockey Alan O'Keeffe had to keep his wits about him as his mount went sharply left, colliding with the inside running rail.
Tom has to keep his wits about him and try to guess what might happen next.
Vet Steve Unwin must keep his wits about him as he performs an operation on a mandrill - the world's largest species of monkey.
Vet Steve Unwin must keep his wits about him as he performa and operation on a mandrill-the world's largest species of monkey.
Vet Steve Unwin must keep his wits about him as he performs an operation onamandrill - the world's largest species of monkey.
Now he's got to keep his wits about him against St Mirren and Paterson said: "The gaffer might have told me that anybody can play left-back, but he knows enough about the position to know I've got a few rough edges to smooth out.
But Robbie had better keep his wits about him as he has competition for Cameron from another American actor, Vince Vaughn.
But while the actor may have proved he's a master sleuth - or at least, good at playing one - can he keep his wits about him as he prepares to take charge of Paul Merton and Ian Hislop in the first of the new series?
2 will have to keep his wits about him to get past such players as Juan Martin del Potro, Robin Soderling and Lleyton Hewitt.
A source said: "It was a terrible ordeal for the bank employee, but he obviously managed to keep his wits about him and kept cool enough to raise the alarm.