noun, plural staffs for 1–5, 9; staves [steyvz] /steɪvz/ or staffs for 6–8, 10, 11.
- 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.
verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
- stadium jacket,
- staff association,
- staff captain,
- staff cell,
- staff college,
- staff corporal
Origin of staff1
Origin of staff2
Examples from the Web for staff
They took cover inside a print works to the north east of Paris, where they held a member of staff as a hostage.
Although the blood-spattered offices will be off-limits, staff have vowed to continue producing the magazine.
You get these high-profile people that go into prison, and the staff abuse their authority.How a ‘Real Housewife’ Survives Prison: ‘I Don’t See [Teresa Giudice] Having a Cakewalk Here’|Michael Howard|January 6, 2015|DAILY BEAST
He would talk to Mecallari and the staff about what was of paramount importance to him, his two sons.
According to some rumors, Goya was once on staff before his fame as a Spanish painter.
She was to the publisher what a staff contributor is to a newspaper.Mary Wollstonecraft|Elizabeth Robins Pennell
Cheseldine's got border towns on his staff, or scared of him, and these places we want to know about, especially Fairdale.The Lone Star Ranger|Zane Grey
And what is there in common between a shield and a philosopher's staff?
His commissary was attached to the Staff of the corps, over which waved the “yellow-blue flag.”The Russian Turmoil|Anton Ivanovich Denikin
He now took over Vidocqs offices and staff, with much the same results.Mysteries of Police and Crime|Arthur Griffiths
noun plural for senses 1,3,4 staffs or plural for senses 5-9 staffs or staves (steɪvz)
- 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
Word Origin for staff
Word Origin for staff
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.