in one's right mind

Idioms & Phrases

in one's right mind

In a healthy mental state; sane and rational. For example, No one in his right mind would ski down this icy slope. This expression is often used in a negative construction, as in the example. The positive sense appears in the New Testament (Mark 5:15), where a deranged man whom Jesus helped is now "sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind." The antonym out of one's mind, as in You must be out of your mind to swim in that icy stream, is from the same period. [c. 1600] Also see go out of one's mind.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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