Webster 1913 Edition
(stāvz or stävz; 277)or
(stȧfs)in senses 1-9,
Staffsin senses 10, 11.
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
staffof a spear or pike.
And he put the
stavesinto the rings on the sides of the altar to bear it withal.
Ex. xxxviii. 7.
With forks and
stavesthe felon to pursue.
A stick carried in the hand for support or defense by a person walking; hence, a support; that which props or upholds.“Hooked staves.”
The boy was the very
staffof my age.
He spoke of it [beer] in “The Earnest Cry,” and likewise in the “Scotch Drink,” as one of the
staffsof life which had been struck from the poor man's hand.
A pole, stick, or wand borne as an ensign of authority; a badge of office;
as, a constable's.
Was broke in twain.
staff, mine office badge in court,
Was broke in twain.
All his officers brake their
staves; but at their return new
staveswere delivered unto them.
A pole upon which a flag is supported and displayed.
The round of a ladder.
I ascended at one [ladder] of six hundred and thirty-nine
Dr. J. Campbell (E. Brown's Travels).
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
staffis proper for an heroic poem, as being all too lyrical.
The five lines and the spaces on which music is written; – formerly called
An arbor, as of a wheel or a pinion of a watch.
The grooved director for the gorget, or knife, used in cutting for stone in the bladder.
Staff, 3, a badge of office.]
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
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.–
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.”
any plant of the genus–
Celastrus, mostly climbing shrubs of the northern hemisphere. The American species (
Celastrus scandens) is commonly called
bittersweet. See 2d
To set up one's staff,
To put up one's staff,
To set down one's staffor
To put down one's staff
to take up one's residence; to lodge.
Webster 1828 Edition
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.]