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)
Origin of staff1
Examples from the Web for staffed
Contemporary Examples of staffed
Near the main exit gate sits two military APCs, staffed by at least a dozen fully-armed soldiers.This Cairo College Campus Is Now a 'Warzone'
February 18, 2014
Almost no one knows—or cares—that the young men who staffed that investigation worked honestly and hard.Shanin Specter on His 50 Years With the Single Bullet Theory
November 8, 2013
And that desk is staffed by Foreign Service Officers who make a career of representing their clients.Pro-Israel Activist Josh Block Attacks U.S. Foreign Service As Working For Arab States
November 1, 2013
Given the dire employment situation in the Detroit area, Moo Cluck Moo could easily have staffed up paying minimum wage.A Fast-Food Joint Thrives, Even by Paying $12 an Hour
August 2, 2013
Oh, and throughout this whole period, a lane that was staffed and reserved for crew use processed only four flight attendants.This Be Madness! America’s Outrageously Long and Totally Unacceptable Customs Lines
June 21, 2013
Historical Examples of staffed
The heavier employments are staffed by a rougher class of women.
Madam, the Foreign Office is staffed by my relatives exclusively.Augustus Does His Bit
George Bernard Shaw
But they were staffed by Germans, and nobody denies that Germans can organize.A Prisoner in Turkey
It is staffed by head doctor Wickermann, assisted by four English doctors.
They are staffed by a detachment of prisoners under a head cook.
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.