What does the idiom "Pull yourself together" mean?

Idioms are generally defined as groups of words that form a meaningful whole when they come together, even though the words in them do not make sense on their own. They have produced many idioms according to their own cultural characteristics in communities using the English language. What does Pull yourself together mean? In what situations is Pull yourself together used?

Meaning of "Pull yourself together"


The idiom ‘pull yourself together’ is a phrase used to encourage someone who may be feeling overwhelmed or is in a state of distress. It is used as a way to help someone regain composure and control in a difficult situation. It can also be used to stop someone from losing their temper or to encourage them to think more rationally.


This idiom is of unknown origin, but its exact origin is thought to have come from the phrase, ‘pull yourself together man’. This phrase was commonly used in the late 1800s in England and America when men were encouraged to be strong, brave and stay composed during difficult times.


The phrase is often used to remind someone to remain calm, composed and resilient during a time of crisis and to regain control of their emotions. It is often considered friendly advice, and often used as a way to encourage someone to maintain their composure.

Example Sentences

  • Come on, pull yourself together. You can do this.
  • Take a deep breath and pull yourself together. Things will work out.
  • John, you're getting too worked up. Pull yourself together and take a minute to think things through.

The meanings of the words in the "Pull yourself together" idiom

The Global Spread of English Idioms

As English has become a global language, its idioms have spread far beyond the borders of the UK and USA. For instance, the idiom "beat around the bush" has equivalents in many other languages, such as "tourner autour du pot" in French and "dar vueltas al asunto" in Spanish. Meanwhile, other idioms have been adapted for local contexts, such as the Russian idiom "?? ???? ???????" (ne svoya rubashka), which translates to "not one's own shirt," meaning to be in an uncomfortable or unfamiliar situation.


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