Dictionary.com
QUIZ
QUIZ YOURSELF ON "WAS" VS. "WERE"!
Were you ready for a quiz on this topic? Well, here it is! See how well you can differentiate between the uses of "was" vs. "were" in this quiz.
Question 1 of 7
“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

Origin of staff

1
First recorded before 900; Middle English noun staf(fe), stafte, Old English stæf, stæb; cognate with Dutch staf, German Stab, Old Norse stafr staff, Sanskrit root stabh- “support”

grammar notes for staff

OTHER WORDS FROM staff

staffless, adjectiveun·staffed, adjectivewell-staffed, adjective

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH staff

staff , staph

Other definitions for staff (2 of 2)

staff2
[ staf, stahf ]
/ stæf, stɑf /

noun
a composition of plaster and fibrous material used for a temporary finish and in ornamental work, as on exposition buildings.

Origin of staff

2
An Americanism dating back to 1890–95; of obscure origin; perhaps from German Stoff stuff
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use staff in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for staff (1 of 2)

staff1
/ (stɑːf) /

noun plural for senses 1,3,4 staffs or plural for senses 5-9 staffs or staves (steɪvz)
verb
(tr) to provide with a staff

Word Origin for staff

Old English stæf; related to Old Frisian stef, Old Saxon staf, German Stab, Old Norse stafr, Gothic Stafs; see stave

British Dictionary definitions for staff (2 of 2)

staff2
/ (stɑːf) /

noun
US a mixture of plaster and hair used to cover the external surface of temporary structures and for decoration

Word Origin for staff

C19: of unknown origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Medical definitions for staff

staff
[ stăf ]

n.
A specific group of workers.
director
v.
To provide with a staff of workers or assistants.
To serve on the staff of.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
FEEDBACK