stag·​ger·​ing | \ ˈsta-g(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce staggering (audio) \

Definition of staggering

: so great as to cause one to stagger : astonishing, overwhelming a staggering feat staggering medical bills

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from staggering

staggeringly adverb

Examples of staggering in a Sentence

The storm caused a staggering amount of damage. the staggering scope of the new construction on campus

Recent Examples on the Web

Right now, households with two incomes are spending about 11 percent nationwide, and single parents are spending a staggering 37 percent of their income, on average. Chloe Angyal, Marie Claire, "The Cost of Child Care Is Crushing American Families. What Will the Presidential Candidates Do About It?," 15 Apr. 2019 The process of amending the Constitution is extremely cumbersome, requiring both supermajorities in Congress and ratification by a staggering 75 percent of the states. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "It’s ridiculous that it’s unconstitutional for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to run for president," 12 Dec. 2018 But that staggering sum alone may be only the beginning of the pain. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, "Beijing’s Bank Bailout Better Be Bold," 5 Apr. 2019 Britain’s most pampered pooch has had a staggering sum of $52,000 spent on her over her short lifetime - and even owns three cars and a boat. Fox News, "Britain’s ‘most pampered’ dog ‘owns’ three cars, a boat and 65 outfits," 21 July 2018 The fact that baseball teams have so little competition in terms of local sports is the reason why local and regional TV affiliates have flooded MLB franchises with staggering sums of money. Mac Engel, star-telegram, "An ex TCU baseball player misses at the Kentucky Derby but wins anyway | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 5 May 2018 That’s a major contributor to why both companies have lost staggering sums of money so far. Alexis C. Madrigal, The Atlantic, "3 Million Uber Drivers Are About to Get a New Boss," 10 Apr. 2018 The Spartans out-rebounded the Orange on the offensive glass, by a staggering 29-7 margin, but, despite all those second-chance opportunities, Michigan State managed a meager 17 field goals all game. Zach Schonbrun, New York Times, "N.C.A.A. Men’s Tournament: No. 1 Xavier Falls in Night of Upsets," 18 Mar. 2018 The Lions, ranked No. 2 nationally among winter programs by, are back in the state final four for the fourth straight year after outscoring opposing teams by a staggering 111-0 margin. J.c. Carnahan,, "Oviedo girls soccer streaks into Class 5A state final four," 16 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'staggering.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of staggering

1565, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about staggering

Statistics for staggering

Last Updated

10 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for staggering

The first known use of staggering was in 1565

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for staggering



English Language Learners Definition of staggering

: very large, shocking, or surprising

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on staggering

What made you want to look up staggering? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!