Stagger meaning

stăgər
Stagger is defined as to move or stand unsteadily, to hesitate or to waver.

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.

verb
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To move unsteadily, as though about to collapse; totter, sway, or reel, as from a blow, fatigue, drunkenness, etc.
verb
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The act of staggering, or reeling, tottering, etc.
noun
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To move or stand unsteadily, as if under a great weight; totter.
verb
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To cause to totter, sway, or reel.

The blow staggered him.

verb
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To lose determination, strength of purpose, etc.; hesitate; waver.
verb
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Doubt, waver, be shocked.
  • (intransitive) To begin to doubt and waver in purposes; to become less confident or determined; to hesitate.
  • To cause to doubt and waver; to make to hesitate; to make less steady or confident; to shock.
    He will stagger the committee when he presents his report.
verb
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To astonish, shock, or overwhelm.

A teacher staggered by a former student's accomplishments; a company staggered by increases in energy costs.

verb
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To place on or as if on alternating sides of a center line; set in a zigzag row or rows.

Theater seats that were staggered for clear viewing.

verb
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To arrange in alternating or overlapping time periods.

Staggered the nurses' shifts.

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To arrange (the wings of a biplane) so that the leading edge of one wing is either ahead of or behind the leading edge of the other wing.
verb
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(sports) To arrange (the start of a race) with the starting point in the outside lanes progressively closer to the finish line so as to neutralize the advantage of competing in the shorter inside lanes.
verb
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A tottering, swaying, or reeling motion.
noun
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A staggered pattern, arrangement, or order.
noun
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Any of various diseases in animals, especially horses, cattle, or other domestic animals, that are characterized by a lack of coordination in moving, a staggering gait, and frequent falling.
noun
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To cause to stagger, as with a blow.
verb
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To affect strongly with astonishment, horror, grief, etc.; overwhelm.
verb
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To set, arrange, or incline alternately, as on either side of a line; make zigzag or alternating.

To stagger the teeth of a saw.

verb
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To arrange (periods of activity, duties, etc.) so as to avoid crowding, provide for continuity of expertise, etc.

To stagger employees' vacations or board members' terms.

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(aeron.) To set or arrange (airfoils, rotors, etc.) so that one is slightly ahead of another.
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A staggered or zigzag arrangement.
noun
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Any of several diseases or toxic conditions of horses, cattle, etc., characterized by a loss of coordination, and by staggering, falling, etc.
noun
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Any of various diseases in animals, especially horses, cattle, or other domestic animals, that are characterized by a lack of coordination in moving, a staggering gait, and frequent falling.
noun
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An unsteady movement of the body in walking or standing, as if one were about to fall; a reeling motion; vertigo; -- often in the plural; as, the stagger of a drunken man.
noun
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A disease of horses and other animals, attended by reeling, unsteady gait or sudden falling; as, parasitic staggers; apoplectic or sleepy staggers.
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In motorsport, the difference in circumference between the left and right tires on a racing vehicle. It is used on oval tracks to make the car turn better in the corners.
noun
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Sway unsteadily, reel, or totter.
  • (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.
verb
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Multiple groups doing the same thing in a uniform fashion, but starting at different, evenly-spaced, times or places (attested from 1856).
  • To arrange (a series of parts) on each side of a median line alternately, as the spokes of a wheel or the rivets of a boiler seam.
  • 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.
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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).

    From Wiktionary