to keep your wits about you

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - keep your wits about you

"to keep your wits about you"

to remain rational when threatened or under stress;

to pay attention and be ready to react


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - keep your wits about you

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1:  The manager has been doing very well since he started but everything has been running smoothly. This is the first time that he has had to handle a competitor's attack as well as production problems. It is fast becoming a desperate situation.

Colleague 2:  Now that we are facing a crisis, let's see how he reacts.

Colleague 1:  I agree. If the manager keeps his wits about him and remains calm and makes sound decisions, then disaster can be averted and he can win the respect of his team.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - keep your wits about you

A couple are talking ...

Wife:  What are we going to do? You are out of work. I am out of work. The bills are piling up and we just got a foreclosure notice from the bank. This is a disaster.

Husband:  We are going to remain calm. Sometimes, when the chips are down, unexpected opportunity comes along but in order to take advantage of opportunity, we must keep our wits about us.

Test Your Understanding  

to keep your wits about you - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   212   click for frequency by country

to keep your wits about you - Gerund Form:

Keeping your wits about you during an emergency can make the difference between life and death.

to keep your wits about you - Examples:

1)  As a visitor you needn't feel paranoid, but you should always keep your wits about you, particularly at night.

2)  So be careful as it could happen to anyone and keep your wits about you and never give up the fight.

3)  Things can get mighty tense at sea, keep your wits about you

4)  This is when it gets exciting. You must keep your wits about you, because property selection is critical.

5)  ... unsafe to be in the streets late at night. You need to keep your wits about you and don't make yourself seem an easy target. 

6)  ... dangers hidden within it also make it a scary place and you must keep your wits about you at all times. Its not a place where you plan numerous stops.

7)  A few unsavoury characters mean you should keep your wits about you at night around here.

8)  Use it and if you like it great -- but keep your wits about you and don't put all your eggs in one basket.

9)  It's a place where you have to keep your wits about you if you want to survive. 

10)  ... stay away from strangers until you get to know them, and keep your wits about you. If someone seems too forceful or belligerent, block them. 

11)  Try hard not to panic and try and keep your wits about you

12)  Working smarter, not harder should be your personal motto. Keep your wits about you and you could be the next top chef in your region.

13)  A place that is safe one moment can become dodgy the next so keep your wits about you.

14)  ... and berries down upon the heads of unsuspecting humans! My advice: keep your wits about you and wear a sturdy hat during woodland walks.

15)  Beggars, pick pockets and scammers abound. Keep your wits about you.

16)  But keep your wits about you -- unfortunately there are some companies out there that prey on the fact ...

17)  You just have to keep your wits about you and your ears open.

18)  Most important of all: have a sense of humour, keep your wits about you, and relax into the experience of being in this wonderful country.

19)  Don't carry wads of cash or wear flashy jewellery, and keep your wits about you at built-up public events. Don't use public transport at night.

20)  ... was very difficult to control, it was hard work, essential to keep your wits about you at all time and the slightest road undulation resulted in wobbles and panics.