- tending to stagger or overwhelm: a staggering amount of money required in the initial investment.
Origin of staggering
- 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 staggering
A staggering 80 percent of college women do not report the crime to police, compared to 67 percent of non-students.College Girls Are Less Likely to Be Raped Than Non-Students
December 11, 2014
As a treatise on the essential vacuity of the white liberal male, Boyhood is a staggering achievement.Black 'Boyhood' Is Always Black First, Boy Later
August 30, 2014
The total number of maps reported missing by the affected institutions, however, was a staggering 256.The Million-Dollar Map Thief
July 30, 2014
The Brazilian beauty pulled in a staggering $47 million in 2013 alone, equating to a cool $128,000 a day.Gisele Bundchen Is Worth $128k a Day; Prince William Gets the Photoshop Treatment
The Fashion Beast Team
July 15, 2014
The conservative reporter claims to have ‘debunked’ a report showing the staggering number of school shootings in America.This Gun Nut Says Most School Shootings Aren’t Real
June 12, 2014
There has been staggering loss of life and measureless wastage of materials.
He jerked sharply up on the reins, and she broke into a staggering trot.Way of the Lawless
It seemed to her she had been staggering in that street for hours.The Secret Agent
I cried, staggering to my feet and throwing his arms off me.The Prisoner of Zenda
And that was where he came up against a staggering disappointment.The Boy Scouts on Belgian Battlefields
Lieut. Howard Payson
- astounding or overwhelming; shockinga staggering increase in demand
- (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 staggering
"amazing," 1560s, from present participle of stagger (v.). Related: Staggeringly.
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.