from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Causing great astonishment, amazement, or dismay; overwhelming.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb Present participle of stagger.
  • adjective Incredible, overwhelming, amazing.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective so surprisingly impressive as to stun or overwhelm


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • A FotF* e-mails:

    I found myself using "staggering" to describe the beauty of SC back country in December. I've started noticing this same adjective all over the Post and at places in the NYer. Today's Post uses it at least twice on page 1. Odd how these things go. I'm sure I unconsciously picked it up back in December as the word was starting to creep into mass media and now it's an epidemic. Of staggering proportions.

    *: friend o' the fox

    The epidemic appears not to have reached Woidie.

    March 1, 2009

  • There are 11 comments/citations on Wordie that include staggering although not all are using it in the hyperbolic sense noted.

    March 1, 2009

  • "The early Republic that the most hawkish conservatives love to cite was a land whose leaders looked with suspicion on the very idea of a standing army. They would have viewed our hundreds of global garrisons, our vast network of spies, agents, Special Forces teams, surveillance operatives, interrogators, rent-a-guns, and mercenary corporations, as well as our staggering Pentagon budget and the constant future-war gaming and planning that accompanies it, with genuine horror."

    - Tom Engelhardt, Is America Hooked on War?,, 17 Sep 2009.

    September 18, 2009