I have heard of staggering intellect but does singular intellect mean the same? Which phrase should be used in what context?
This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:
- "Please include the research you’ve done, or consider if your question suits our English Language Learners site better. Questions that can be answered using commonly-available references are off-topic." – Mick, tchrist
According to https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/singular, singular as an adjective can be defined as "distinguished by superiority" or "being out of the ordinary." Therefore, when singular is used to modify the word intellect, it means superior/extraordinary intellect. According to http://www.thesaurus.com/browse/staggering, a synonym for staggering is extraordinary. Therefore, these two things mean similar things as they both refer to a high intellectual level.
Singular here means unique, although it's not usually meant to be taken literally. A person of singular intellect might not be uniquely intelligent, but at least unusually or notably so.