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 well-staffed
Contemporary Examples of well-staffed
No doubt Hamas's well-staffed Department of Public Absurdity is hard at work dreaming up something particularly ridiculous.Hamas: The Palestinian Fashion Police
April 9, 2013
The American people probably assume an educated and well-staffed set of lawmakers have worked up support for their contentions.The Looming Banking Battle
November 12, 2009
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.