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From Old Norse stakra (to push)[1].



stagger ‎(plural staggers)

Tire stagger
  1. 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.
  2. (veterinary medicine) A disease of horses and other animals, attended by reeling, unsteady gait or sudden falling; as, parasitic staggers; apoplectic or sleepy staggers.
  3. Bewilderment; perplexity.
  4. (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.[2]
  5. (aviation) The horizontal positioning of a biplane, triplane, or multiplane's wings in relation to one another.



stagger ‎(third-person singular simple present staggers, present participle staggering, simple past and past participle staggered)

  1. Sway unsteadily, reel, or totter.
    1. (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.
      • Dryden
        Deep was the wound; he staggered with the blow.
    2. (transitive) To cause to reel or totter.
      The powerful blow of his opponent's fist staggered the boxer.
      • Shakespeare
        That hand shall burn in never-quenching fire / That staggers thus my person.
    3. (intransitive) To cease to stand firm; to begin to give way; to fail.
      • Addison
        The enemy staggers.
  2. Doubt, waver, be shocked.
    1. (intransitive) To begin to doubt and waver in purposes; to become less confident or determined; to hesitate.
      • Bible, Rom. iv. 20
        He [Abraham] staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief.
    2. (transitive) 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.
      • Howell
        Whosoever will read the story of this war will find himself much staggered.
      • Burke
        Grants to the house of Russell were so enormous, as not only to outrage economy, but even to stagger credibility.
  3. (transitive) Multiple groups doing the same thing in a uniform fashion, but starting at different, evenly-spaced, times or places (attested from 1856[3]).
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. To schedule in intervals.
      We will stagger the run so the faster runners can go first, then the joggers.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Etymology in Online Etymology Dictionary
  2. ^ Stock Car Racing magazine article on stagger, February 2009
  3. ^ Etymology in Online Etymology Dictionary