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v. stag·gered, stag·ger·ing, stag·gers
To move or stand unsteadily, as if under a great weight; totter. See Synonyms at blunder.
1. To cause to totter, sway, or reel: The blow staggered him.
2. To astonish, shock, or overwhelm: a teacher staggered by a former student's accomplishments; a company staggered by increases in energy costs.
3. 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.
4. To arrange in alternating or overlapping time periods: staggered the nurses' shifts.
5. 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.
6. 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.
1. A tottering, swaying, or reeling motion.
2. A staggered pattern, arrangement, or order.
3. staggers(used with a sing. verb) 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.

[Alteration of Middle English stakeren, from Old Norse stakra, frequentative of staka, to push.]

stag′ger·er n.
stag′ger·y adj.


n (functioning as singular or plural)
1. (Pathology) a form of vertigo associated with decompression sickness
2. (Veterinary Science) Also called: blind staggers a disease of horses and some other domestic animals characterized by a swaying unsteady gait, caused by infection, toxins, or lesions of the central nervous system
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.staggers - a disease of the central nervous system affecting especially horses and cattlestaggers - a disease of the central nervous system affecting especially horses and cattle; characterized by an unsteady swaying gait and frequent falling
animal disease - a disease that typically does not affect human beings