An example of stagger is a very drunk person walking across the room.
An example of stagger is a woman losing her nerve just before asking a man out on a date.
The blow staggered him.
A teacher staggered by a former student's accomplishments; a company staggered by increases in energy costs.
Theater seats that were staggered for clear viewing.
Staggered the nurses' shifts.
To stagger the teeth of a saw.
To stagger employees' vacations or board members' terms.
- (intransitive) In standing or walking, to sway from one side to the other as if about to fall; to stand or walk unsteadily; to reel or totter.She began to stagger across the room.
- To cause to reel or totter.The powerful blow of his opponent's fist staggered the boxer.
- (intransitive) To cease to stand firm; to begin to give way; to fail.
- To arrange similar objects such that each is ahead or above and to one side of the next.We will stagger the starting positions for the race on the oval track.
- We will stagger the run so the faster runners can go first, then the joggers.
Origin of stagger
- Alteration of Middle English stakeren from Old Norse stakra frequentative of staka to push
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- From Old Norse stakra (to push).