American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To move or stand unsteadily, as if under a great weight; totter.
- v. To begin to lose confidence or strength of purpose; waver.
- v. To cause to totter, sway, or reel: The blow staggered him.
- v. To overwhelm with emotion or astonishment.
- v. To cause to waver or lose confidence.
- v. 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.
- v. To arrange in alternating or overlapping time periods: staggered the nurses' shifts.
- v. 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.
- v. 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.
- n. A tottering, swaying, or reeling motion.
- n. A staggered pattern, arrangement, or order.
- n. Any of various diseases of the nervous system in animals, especially horses, cattle, or other domestic animals, characterized by a lack of coordination in moving, a staggering gait, and frequent falling. Also called blind staggers.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To walk or stand unsteadily; reel; totter.
- To hesitate; begin to doubt or waver in purpose; falter; become less confident or determined; waver; vacillate.
- Synonyms Totter, etc. See reel.
- To cause to reel, totter, falter, or be unsteady; shake.
- To cause to hesitate, waver, or doubt; fill with doubts or misgivings; make less steady, determined, or confident.
- To arrange in a zigzag order; specifically, in wheel-making, to set (the spokes) in the hub alternately inside and outside (or more or less to one side of) a line drawn round the hub. The mortise-holes in such a hub are said to be dodging. A wheel made in this manner is called a staggered wheel. The objects sought in this system of construction are increased strength and stiffness in the wheel.
- n. A sudden tottering motion, swing, or reel of the body as if one were about to fall, as through tripping, giddiness, or intoxication.
- n. plural One of various forms of functional and organic disease of the brain and spinal cord in domesticated animals, especially horses and cattle: more fully called blind staggers. A kind of staggers (see also
gidand sturdy) affecting sheep is specifically the disease resulting from a larval brain-worm. (See cænureand Tænia.) Other forms are due to disturbance of the circulation in the brain, and others again to digestive derangements. See stomach-staggers.
- n. Hence plural A feeling of giddiness, reeling, or unsteadiness; a sensation which causes reeling.
- n. plural Perplexities; doubts; bewilderment; confusion.
- n. 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.
- n. A disease of horses and other animals, attended by reeling, unsteady gait or sudden falling; as, parasitic staggers; apoplectic or sleepy staggers.
- n. bewilderment; perplexity.
- v. sway unsteadily, reel, or totter
- v. doubt, waver, be shocked
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. To move to one side and the other, as if about to fall, in standing or walking; not to stand or walk with steadiness; to sway; to reel or totter.
- v. To cease to stand firm; to begin to give way; to fail.
- v. To begin to doubt and waver in purpose; to become less confident or determined; to hesitate.
- v. To cause to reel or totter.
- v. To cause to doubt and waver; to make to hesitate; to make less steady or confident; to shock.
- v. 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.
- n. 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.
- n. (Far.) A disease of horses and other animals, attended by reeling, unsteady gait or sudden falling
- n. rare Bewilderment; perplexity.
- v. walk as if unable to control one's movements
- n. an unsteady uneven gait
- v. to arrange in a systematic order
- v. astound or overwhelm, as with shock
- v. walk with great difficulty
- From Old Norse stakra (to push). (Wiktionary)
- Alteration of Middle English stakeren, from Old Norse stakra, frequentative of staka, to push. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Nascar: What does the term stagger refer to on a race car?”
“-- The stagger is the distance the top surface is in advance of the bottom surface when the aeroplane is in flying position.”
“MR. MCCURRY: It's going to be hard enough to get news organizations interested in these conventions to begin with, so we could kind of stagger the air traffic pattern a little bit -- that would be a welcome development.”
“It maintains the "stagger" and assists in maintaining the angle of incidence.”
“Lateness, laziness, or insubordination were punished by the deduction of so many marks from their weekly earnings, and all on the say-so of the "stagger" in charge of the squad.”
“I was right glad, glad with a "stagger" of the heart, to see your writing again.”
“What do you think about the GOJ proposal to "stagger" the Golden Week holidays over a month across the archipelago?”
“The fundamental basis here is that you pepper opponents until they "stagger", whence they suffer more damage.”
“The analysts urged regulators to prevent "double accounting of regulation" and to "stagger" implementation.”
“This song from one of my favorite bands has a rollicking tune to it, supplied by a drunken piano and drums-a kind of stagger, to my ear, evocative of being out late at night having had too much to drink, everything around you both hyper-real and blurred.”
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