Meaning of stagger

stag•ger

Pronunciation: (stag'ur), [key]
— v.i.
  1. to walk, move, or stand unsteadily.
  2. to falter or begin to give way, as in an argument or fight.
  3. to waver or begin to doubt, as in purpose or opinion; hesitate: After staggering momentarily, he recognized that he had to make a decision.
—v.t.
  1. to cause to reel, totter, or become unsteady: This load would stagger an elephant.
  2. to shock; render helpless with amazement or the like; astonish: The vastness of outer space staggers the mind.
  3. to cause to waver or falter: The news staggered her belief in the triumph of justice.
  4. to arrange in a zigzag order or manner on either side of a center: The captain staggered the troops along the road.
  5. to arrange otherwise than at the same time, esp. in a series of alternating or continually overlapping intervals: They planned to stagger lunch hours so that the cafeteria would not be rushed.
  6. 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.
—n.
  1. the act of staggering; a reeling or tottering movement or motion.
  2. a staggered order or arrangement.
    1. a staggered arrangement of wings.
    2. the amount of staggering.
    1. Also calledblind staggers.acute selenium poisoning of livestock characterized by a staggering gait usually followed by respiratory failure and death.
    2. 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.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
See also: