- a group of persons, as employees, charged with carrying out the work of an establishment or executing some undertaking.
- a group of assistants to a manager, superintendent, or executive.
- a member of a staff.
- a body of officers without command authority, appointed to assist a commanding officer.
- the parts of any army concerned with administrative matters, planning, etc., rather than with actual participation in combat.
- those members of an organization serving only in an auxiliary or advisory capacity on a given project.Compare line1(def 38).
- a stick, pole, or rod for aid in walking or climbing, for use as a weapon, etc.
- a rod or wand serving as a symbol of office or authority, as a crozier, baton, truncheon, or mace.
- a pole on which a flag is hung or displayed.
- something that supports or sustains.
- Also stave. Music. a set of horizontal lines, now five in number, with the corresponding four spaces between them, on which music is written.
- Archaic. the shaft of a spear, lance, etc.
- of or relating to a military or organizational staff: a staff officer; staff meetings.
- (of a professional person) employed on the staff of a corporation, publication, institution, or the like rather than being self-employed or practicing privately: a staff writer; staff physicians at the hospital.
- to provide with a staff of assistants or workers: She staffed her office with excellent secretaries.
- to serve on the staff of.
- to send to a staff for study or further work (often followed by out): The White House will staff out the recommendations before making a decision.
- to hire employees, as for a new office or project (sometimes followed by up): Next month we'll begin staffing up for the reelection campaign.
Origin of staff1
- a composition of plaster and fibrous material used for a temporary finish and in ornamental work, as on exposition buildings.
Origin of staff2
- a county in central England. 1154 sq. mi. (2715 sq. km). County seat: Stafford.
Examples from the Web for staffs
His staff assignments include the Office of Combating Terrorism, National Security Council and the USSOCOM and Navy staffs.The Hero Summit Speakers List
November 14, 2012
Romney purports to like 30 Rock, but I don't believe anything released by staffs in these let's-humanize-our-guy press releases.Does Mitt Romney Know How to Laugh?
May 21, 2012
In France and Germany, many companies employ graphologists on their staffs.For Presidential Hopefuls, the Handwriting Says It All
January 11, 2012
I suppose Hollywood stars must consent to be godparents to a lot of the children of their staffs.I Sat on Elizabeth Taylor's Knee
March 24, 2011
He gets his national show, staffs up with a crew that sings proudly of not being "Mexican, gay, or black."Rush Limbaugh! The Musical
February 3, 2010
Scouts should make their own staffs whenever it is possible for them to secure the lumber.Boy Scouts Handbook
Boy Scouts of America
Many of them had staffs, and all were bent nigh double under their burdens.The Trail of '98
Robert W. Service
Nor could any of the staffs of the neighboring hotels or restaurants assist him.The Pit Prop Syndicate
Freeman Wills Crofts
If we could break the board in two in the middle, it would make two staffs for us.A Lieutenant at Eighteen
There were also flags on staffs stuck about which might be taken.Ernest Bracebridge
William H. G. Kingston
- a county of central England: lowlands in the east and south rise to the Pennine uplands in the north; important in the history of industry, coal and iron having been worked at least as early as the 13th century. In 1974 the industrial area in the S passed to the new county of West Midlands; Stoke-on-Trent became an independent unitary authority in 1997. Administrative centre: Stafford. Pop (excluding Stoke-on-Trent): 811 000 (2003 est). Area (excluding Stoke-on-Trent): 2624 sq km (1013 sq miles)
- a group of people employed by a company, individual, etc, for executive, clerical, sales work, etc
- (modifier) attached to or provided for the staff of an establishmenta staff doctor
- the body of teachers or lecturers of an educational institution, as distinct from the students
- the officers appointed to assist a commander, service, or central headquarters organization in establishing policy, plans, etc
- a stick with some special use, such as a walking stick or an emblem of authority
- something that sustains or supportsbread is the staff of life
- a pole on which a flag is hung
- mainly British a graduated rod used in surveying, esp for sighting to with a levelling instrumentUsual US name: rod
- Also called: stave music
- the system of horizontal lines grouped into sets of five (four in the case of plainsong) upon which music is written. The spaces between them are also used, being employed in conjunction with a clef in order to give a graphic indication of pitch
- any set of five lines in this system together with its clefthe treble staff
- (tr) to provide with a staff
- US a mixture of plaster and hair used to cover the external surface of temporary structures and for decoration
Word Origin and History for staffs
Old English stæf "walking stick, strong pole used for carrying, rod used as a weapon" (also, in plural, "letter, character, writing," cf. stæfcræft "grammar"), from Proto-Germanic *stabaz (cf. Old Saxon staf, Old Norse stafr, Old Frisian stef, Middle Low German and Middle Dutch staf, Old High German stab, German Stab, Gothic *stafs "element;" Middle Dutch stapel "pillar, foundation"), from PIE root *stebh- "post, stem, to support, place firmly on, fasten" (cf. Old Lithuanian stabas "idol," Lithuanian stebas "staff, pillar;" Old Church Slavonic stoboru "pillar;" Sanskrit stabhnati "supports;" Greek stephein "to tie around, encircle, wreathe," staphyle "grapevine, bunch of grapes;" Old English stapol "post, pillar").
Sense of "group of military officers that assists a commander" is attested from 1702, apparently from German, from the notion of the "baton" that is a badge of office or authority (a sense attested in English from 1530s). Meaning "group of employees (as at an office or hospital)" is first found 1837. Staff of life "bread" is from the Biblical phrase "to break the staff of bread" (Lev. xxvi:26), translating Hebrew matteh lekhem.
"to provide with a staff of assistants," 1859, from staff (n.). Related: Staffed; staffing.
- A specific group of workers.
- To provide with a staff of workers or assistants.
- To serve on the staff of.