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 staffs
His staff assignments include the Office of Combating Terrorism, National Security Council and the USSOCOM and Navy staffs.
Romney purports to like 30 Rock, but I don't believe anything released by staffs in these let's-humanize-our-guy press releases.
In France and Germany, many companies employ graphologists on their staffs.For Presidential Hopefuls, the Handwriting Says It All|Sheila Kurtz|January 11, 2012|DAILY BEAST
I suppose Hollywood stars must consent to be godparents to a lot of the children of their staffs.
King Christian will furnish the staffs, and then—on to Stockholm!Plays by August Strindberg, Fourth Series|August Strindberg
Staffs of formations higher than brigades will be located within easy reach of Anzac Headquarters.Gallipoli Diary, Volume 2|Ian Hamilton
When we make a halt for any time, the general officers and their staffs flock to headquarters to listen to his stories.The Crisis, Complete|Winston Churchill
Staffs should be handled with care, especially when jointing or unjointing.Visual Signaling|Signal Corps United States Army
Standing in front of Matheline and barring the passage were two ragged beggars, with their wallets, leaning upon their staffs.In the Yule-Log Glow, Book II|Various
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.