[ stag-uh-ring ]
/ ˈstæg ə rɪŋ /


tending to stagger or overwhelm: a staggering amount of money required in the initial investment.

Nearby words

  1. stagger,
  2. stagger head,
  3. staggerbush,
  4. staggered directorships,
  5. staggered hours,
  6. staggering bob,
  7. staggers,
  8. staggy,
  9. staghorn,
  10. staghorn coral

Origin of staggering

First recorded in 1555–65; stagger + -ing2

Related formsstag·ger·ing·ly, adverbun·stag·ger·ing, adjective


[ stag-er ]
/ ˈstæg ər /

verb (used without object)

verb (used with object)


Origin of stagger

1520–30; earlier stacker to reel, Middle English stakeren < Old Norse stakra to reel, equivalent to stak(a) to stagger + -ra frequentative suffix

1. Stagger, reel, totter suggest an unsteady manner of walking. To stagger is successively to lose and regain one's equilibrium and the ability to maintain one's direction: to stagger with exhaustion, a heavy load, or intoxication. To reel is to sway dizzily and be in imminent danger of falling: to reel when faint with hunger. To totter is to move in a shaky, uncertain, faltering manner and suggests the immediate likelihood of falling from weakness or feebleness: An old man tottered along with a cane. 3. vacillate. 5. astound, confound, dumfound. 7. alternate.

Related formsstag·ger·er, nounout·stag·ger, verb (used with object)un·stag·gered, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for staggering

British Dictionary definitions for staggering


/ (ˈstæɡərɪŋ) /


astounding or overwhelming; shockinga staggering increase in demand
Derived Formsstaggeringly, adverb


/ (ˈstæɡə) /



the act or an instance of staggering
a staggered arrangement on a biplane, etc
See also staggers

Derived Formsstaggerer, noun

Word Origin for stagger

C13 dialect stacker, from Old Norse staka to push

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for staggering
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper