- to walk, move, or stand unsteadily.
- to falter or begin to give way, as in an argument or fight.
- to waver or begin to doubt, as in purpose or opinion; hesitate: After staggering momentarily, he recognized that he had to make a decision.
- to cause to reel, totter, or become unsteady: This load would stagger an elephant.
- to shock; render helpless with amazement or the like; astonish: The vastness of outer space staggers the mind.
- to cause to waver or falter: The news staggered her belief in the triumph of justice.
- to arrange in a zigzag order or manner on either side of a center: The captain staggered the troops along the road.
- to arrange otherwise than at the same time, especially in a series of alternating or continually overlapping intervals: They planned to stagger lunch hours so that the cafeteria would not be rushed.
- Aeronautics. to arrange (the wings of a biplane or the like) so that the entering edge of an upper wing is either in advance of or behind that of a corresponding lower wing.
- the act of staggering; a reeling or tottering movement or motion.
- a staggered order or arrangement.
- a staggered arrangement of wings.
- the amount of staggering.
- staggers. (used with a singular verb) Veterinary Pathology.
- Also called blind staggers.acute selenium poisoning of livestock characterized by a staggering gait usually followed by respiratory failure and death.
- a condition of unknown cause, occurring in pregnant sheep, cattle, and other animals during or just following extended transport, characterized by a staggering gait and progressive paralysis.
Origin of stagger
SynonymsSee more synonyms for stagger on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for staggered
His success later in the afternoon has staggered a nation and sent two families reeling from heartache that never diminishes.Any Outrage Out There for Ramos and Liu, Protesters?
December 22, 2014
Kitty staggered around the corner to the rear of her building, trying to make it home.The Myth of the Central Park Five
October 19, 2014
I was not prepared for the staggered, ruthless falling apart of one of the people I love most in the world.No One Ever Loses to Cancer
October 8, 2014
Edwards (who was governor for a total of sixteen, staggered years from 1972 to 1996) was long-dogged by charges of corruption.
Sid was the only one who laughed; staggered around, holding his gut.Mel Brooks Is Always Funny and Often Wise in This 1975 Playboy Interview
February 16, 2014
At the first step Mortimer staggered and swayed like a drunken man.
Mortimer staggered back a step and caught at the chair to steady himself.
She staggered a little as she ran, leaping over the box borders.Quaint Courtships
The black man was not very far from Tom when he staggered and fell.Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates
“Yes,” she whispered, then raised her head, and staggered backward a little.The Secret Agent
- (usually intr) to walk or cause to walk unsteadily as if about to fall
- (tr) to astound or overwhelm, as with shockI am staggered by his ruthlessness
- (tr) to place or arrange in alternating or overlapping positions or time periods to prevent confusion or congestiona staggered junction; to stagger holidays
- (intr) to falter or hesitatehis courage staggered in the face of the battle
- (tr) to set (the wings of a biplane) so that the leading edge of one extends beyond that of the other
- the act or an instance of staggering
- a staggered arrangement on a biplane, etc
Word Origin and History for staggered
1520s, altered from stakeren (c.1300), from Old Norse stakra or Old Danish stagra, both "to push, stagger." Cognate with Dutch staggelen "to stagger," German staggeln "to stammer." Transitive sense of "bewilder, amaze" first recorded 1550s; that of "arrange in a zig-zag pattern" is from 1856. Related: Staggered; staggering.