get one's bearings

Also, find one's bearings. Figure out one's position or situation relative to one's surroundings. For example, She's still new to the company and needs time to find her bearings, or I'll be along soon; just wait till I get my bearings. Naturally, one can also lose one's bearings, as in After we missed the turnpike exit, we completely lost our bearings. These phrases use bearings in the sense of “relative position,” a usage dating from the 1600s.


Nearby words

  1. get on the stick,
  2. get on with it,
  3. get one down,
  4. get one's,
  5. get one's act together,
  6. get one's comeuppance,
  7. get one's dander up,
  8. get one's ducks in a row,
  9. get one's feet on the ground,
  10. get one's feet wet

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.