Origin of staff

1
before 900; Middle English staf (noun), Old English stæf; cognate with Dutch staf, German Stab, Old Norse stafr staff, Sanskrit stabh- support
Related formsstaff·less, adjectiveun·staffed, adjectivewell-staffed, adjective
Can be confusedstaff staph

Usage note

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for unstaffed

staff

1

noun plural for senses 1,3,4 staffs or plural for senses 5-9 staffs or staves (steɪvz)

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
  1. 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
  2. any set of five lines in this system together with its clefthe treble staff

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

staff

2

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

Word Origin and History for unstaffed

staff

n.

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.

staff

v.

"to provide with a staff of assistants," 1859, from staff (n.). Related: Staffed; staffing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

unstaffed in Medicine

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.