Definify.com

Webster 1913 Edition


Staff

Staff

(stȧf)
,
Noun.
;
pl.
Staves
(stāvz or stävz; 277)
or
Staffs
(stȧfs)
in senses 1-9,
Staffs
in senses 10, 11.
[AS.
staef
a staff; akin to LG. & D.
staf
, OFries.
stef
, G.
stab
, Icel.
stafr
, Sw.
staf
, Dan.
stav
, Goth.
stabs
element, rudiment, Skr.
sthāpay
to cause to stand, to place. See
Stand
, and cf.
Stab
,
Stave
,
Noun.
]
1.
A long piece of wood; a stick; the long handle of an instrument or weapon; a pole or stick, used for many purposes;
as, a surveyor’s
staff
; the
staff
of a spear or pike.
And he put the
staves
into the rings on the sides of the altar to bear it withal.
Ex. xxxviii. 7.
With forks and
staves
the felon to pursue.
Dryden.
2.
A stick carried in the hand for support or defense by a person walking; hence, a support; that which props or upholds.
“Hooked staves.”
Piers Plowman.
The boy was the very
staff
of my age.
Shakespeare
He spoke of it [beer] in “The Earnest Cry,” and likewise in the “Scotch Drink,” as one of the
staffs
of life which had been struck from the poor man's hand.
Prof. Wilson.
3.
A pole, stick, or wand borne as an ensign of authority; a badge of office;
as, a constable's
staff
.
Methought this
staff
, mine office badge in court,
Was broke in twain.
Shakespeare
All his officers brake their
staves
; but at their return new
staves
were delivered unto them.
Hayward.
4.
A pole upon which a flag is supported and displayed.
5.
The round of a ladder.
[R.]
I ascended at one [ladder] of six hundred and thirty-nine
staves
.
Dr. J. Campbell (E. Brown's Travels).
6.
A series of verses so disposed that, when it is concluded, the same order begins again; a stanza; a stave.
Cowley found out that no kind of
staff
is proper for an heroic poem, as being all too lyrical.
Dryden.
7.
(Mus.)
The five lines and the spaces on which music is written; – formerly called
stave
.
8.
(Mech.)
An arbor, as of a wheel or a pinion of a watch.
9.
(Surg.)
The grooved director for the gorget, or knife, used in cutting for stone in the bladder.
10.
[From
Staff
, 3, a badge of office.]
(Mil.)
An establishment of officers in various departments attached to an army, to a section of an army, or to the commander of an army. The general's staff consists of those officers about his person who are employed in carrying his commands into execution. See
État Major
.
Jacob's staff
(Surv.)
,
a single straight rod or staff, pointed and iron-shod at the bottom, for penetrating the ground, and having a socket joint at the top, used, instead of a tripod, for supporting a compass.
Staff angle
(Arch.)
,
a square rod of wood standing flush with the wall on each of its sides, at the external angles of plastering, to prevent their being damaged.
The staff of life
,
bread.
“Bread is the staff of life.”
Swift.
Staff tree
(Bot.)
,
any plant of the genus
Celastrus
, mostly climbing shrubs of the northern hemisphere. The American species (
Celastrus scandens
) is commonly called
bittersweet
. See 2d
Bittersweet
, 3
(b)
.
To set up one's staff
,
To put up one's staff
,
To set down one's staff
or
To put down one's staff
,
to take up one's residence; to lodge.
[Obs.]

Webster 1828 Edition


Staff

STAFF

,
Noun.
plu.
[G., a bar, a rod. The primary sense is to thrust, to shoot. See Stab.]
1.
A stick carried in the hand for support or defense by a person walking; hence, a support; that which props or upholds. Bread is the proverbially called the staff of life.
The boy was the very staff of my age.
Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23.
2.
A stick or club used as a weapon.
With forks and staves the felon they pursue.
3.
A long piece of wood; a stick; the long handle of an instrument; a pole or stick, used for many purposes.
4.
The five lines and the spaces on which music is written.
5.
An ensign of authority; a badge of office; as a constables staff.
6.
The round of a ladder.
7.
A pole erected in a ship to hoist and display a flag; called a flag-staff. There is also a jack-staff, and an ensign-staff.
8.
In military affairs, an establishment of officers in various departments, attached to an army. The staff includes officers not of the line, as adjutants, quarter-masters, chaplain, surgeon, &c. The staff is the medium of communication from the commander in chief to every department of an army.
9.
A stanza; a series of verses so disposed that when it is concluded, the same order begins again.
Cowley found out that no kind of staff is proper for a heroic poem, as being all too lyrical.
10.
Stave and staves, plu. of staff. [See Stave.]

Definition 2022


Staff

Staff

See also: staff

Norwegian

Proper noun

Staff

  1. A surname.

staff

staff

See also: Staff

English

Noun

staff (countable and uncountable, plural staffs or staves or staff)

A musical staff
  1. (plural staffs or staves) A long, straight, thick wooden rod or stick, especially one used to assist in walking.
    • 1927, F. E. Penny, chapter 4, in Pulling the Strings:
      The case was that of a murder. It had an element of mystery about it, however, which was puzzling the authorities. A turban and loincloth soaked in blood had been found; also a staff.
  2. (music, plural staves) A series of horizontal lines on which musical notes are written.
  3. (plural staff) The employees of a business.
    • 2011 December 16, Denis Campbell, Hospital staff 'lack skills to cope with dementia patients'”, in Guardian:
      Most staff do not have the skills to cope with such challenging patients, who too often receive "impersonal" care and suffer from boredom, the first National Audit of Dementia found. It says hospitals should introduce "dementia champions".
    The company employed 10 new members of staff this month.
  4. (uncountable) A mixture of plaster and fibre used as a temporary exterior wall covering.W
  5. A pole, stick, or wand borne as an ensign of authority; a badge of office.
    a constable's staff
    • William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
      Methought this staff, mine office badge in court, / Was broke in twain.
    • Sir John Hayward (c.1564-1627)
      All his officers brake their staves; but at their return new staves were delivered unto them.
  6. A pole upon which a flag is supported and displayed.
  7. (archaic) The rung of a ladder.
    • Dr. J. Campbell (E. Brown's Travels)
      I ascend at one [ladder] of six hundred and thirty-nine staves.
  8. A series of verses so disposed that, when it is concluded, the same order begins again; a stanza; a stave.
    • John Dryden (1631-1700)
      Cowley found out that no kind of staff is proper for an heroic poem, as being all too lyrical.
  9. (engineering) An arbor, as of a wheel or a pinion of a watch.
  10. (surgery) The grooved director for the gorget, or knife, used in cutting for stone in the bladder.
  11. (military) An establishment of officers in various departments attached to an army, to a section of an army, or to the commander of an army. The general's staff consists of those officers about his person who are employed in carrying his commands into execution.
  12. Misspelling of staph.

Synonyms

  • (piece of wood): See Wikisaurus:stick
  • (music): stave
  • (employees): personnel

Derived terms

Translations

See also

Verb

staff (third-person singular simple present staffs, present participle staffing, simple past and past participle staffed)

  1. (transitive) to supply (a business) with employees

Translations

Anagrams


Catalan

Noun

staff m

  1. staff (employees)
    • 2015 September 12, “Más que un club”, in El País:
      Albiol regatea la caseta de Ciudadanos y llega al área de la de Sociedad Civil Catalana, otra ONG no-nacionalista, sobre la que el periodista Jordi Borràs, por cierto, acaba de sacar articulazo vinculando a su staff con la extrema derecha, ese equipo.

French

Etymology 1

19th century - Obscure, possibly from German staffieren or Old French estofer (modern French étoffer)

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /staf/

Noun

staff m (plural staffs)

  1. staff, mixture of plaster and fibre.
    Le staff apparaît grâce au Français Mézier qui vers 1850 a l'idée de réaliser une première corniche préfabriquée armée d'une toile de jute. Dès lors l'emploi du staff se développe rapidement jusqu'à atteindre son apogée à la belle époque. (Wikipédia)
Derived terms

Etymology 2

20th century - from English staff

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /staf/

Noun

staff m (plural staffs)

  1. staff, employees of a business.
    les membres du staff.
  2. governing body (army, corporation, administration, etc.)
    Il avait été prévu une centaine d'infirmiers et un staff comprenant le médecin-chef, deux assistants, six internes. (H. Bazin, Fin asiles, 1959, p. 81)
Synonyms

References


Italian

Etymology

English

Noun

staff m (invariable)

  1. staff (people)

Spanish

Noun

staff m (uncountable)

  1. staff (employees)