keep one's head


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keep (one's) head

To be and remain in a calm, stable, sensible, and pragmatic state or condition despite stress. My father has always been a rock of level-headed judgment and advice. Even during our family's lowest points, he's always kept his head.
See also: head, keep

keep one's head

1. Stay calm, retain self-control, as in When the rowboat capsized, George yelled that everyone should keep their head and hold onto the boat . This usage dates from the early 1600s and is about two centuries older than the antonym, lose one's head, meaning "to become confused and agitated," as in Whenever the stock market goes down sharply, people seem to lose their heads and sell.
2. keep one's head above water. See head above water.
See also: head, keep
References in periodicals archive ?
To keep one's head down, to hope that you won't be noticed and that you'll stay safe is analogous to the ostrich with its head in the sand.
Bromley lists "concentration, determination, good eyesight, strong nerves and the ability to keep one's head when everyone else is losing theirs'' as the attributes needed in a commentator, but betting celibacy is not required.
To keep one's head above water--avoid succumbing to difficulties, typically debt [BNC--6; COCA--16 (2012-1990)].
What is needed more than ever is a Zen-like, patient pian to keep one's head straight while, to borrow from Kipling, many around us are losing theirs.
While it might seem impossible to do much more than keep one's head above water, in fact this might be the best time to take the long view, and for prudent, reasoned investment in infrastructure, operations and planning.
my years on the row, the tremendous amount of mental concentration it requires just to keep one's head above water.