What does staff mean?

Definitions for staff
stæf, stɑfstaff

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word staff.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. staff(noun)

    personnel who assist their superior in carrying out an assigned task

    "the hospital has an excellent nursing staff"; "the general relied on his staff to make routine decisions"

  2. staff(noun)

    a strong rod or stick with a specialized utilitarian purpose

    "he walked with the help of a wooden staff"

  3. staff, faculty(noun)

    the body of teachers and administrators at a school

    "the dean addressed the letter to the entire staff of the university"

  4. staff(noun)

    building material consisting of plaster and hair; used to cover external surfaces of temporary structure (as at an exposition) or for decoration

  5. staff(noun)

    a rod carried as a symbol

  6. staff, stave(verb)

    (music) the system of five horizontal lines on which the musical notes are written

  7. staff(verb)

    provide with staff

    "This position is not always staffed"

  8. staff(verb)

    serve on the staff of

    "The two men staff the reception desk"


  1. Staff(n.)

    Hence: A body of assistants serving to carry into effect the plans of a superintendent or manager; sometimes used for the entire group of employees of an enterprise, excluding the top management; as, the staff of a newspaper.

  2. Origin: [AS. staef a staff; akin to LG. & D. staf, OFries. stef, G. stab, Icel. stafr, Sw. staf, Dan. stav, Goth. stabs element, rudiment, Skr. sthpay to cause to stand, to place. See Stand, and cf. Stab, Stave, n.]


  1. staff(Noun)

    a long, straight stick, especially one used to assist in walking.

  2. staff(Noun)

    A series of horizontal lines on which musical notes are written.

  3. staff(Noun)

    The employees of a business.

    The company employed 10 new staff this month.

  4. staff(Noun)

    A mixture of plaster and fibre used as a temporary exterior wall covering (see Wikipedia article)

  5. staff(Verb)

    to supply (a business) with employees

  6. Origin: stæf, from stabaz. Cognate with Dutch staf, German Stab, Swedish stav.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Staff(noun)

    a long piece of wood; a stick; the long handle of an instrument or weapon; a pole or srick, used for many purposes; as, a surveyor's staff; the staff of a spear or pike

  2. Staff(noun)

    a stick carried in the hand for support or defense by a person walking; hence, a support; that which props or upholds

  3. Staff(noun)

    a pole, stick, or wand borne as an ensign of authority; a badge of office; as, a constable's staff

  4. Staff(noun)

    a pole upon which a flag is supported and displayed

  5. Staff(noun)

    the round of a ladder

  6. Staff(noun)

    a series of verses so disposed that, when it is concluded, the same order begins again; a stanza; a stave

  7. Staff(noun)

    the five lines and the spaces on which music is written; -- formerly called stave

  8. Staff(noun)

    an arbor, as of a wheel or a pinion of a watch

  9. Staff(noun)

    the grooved director for the gorget, or knife, used in cutting for stone in the bladder

  10. Staff(noun)

    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 Etat Major

  11. Staff(noun)

    hence: A body of assistants serving to carry into effect the plans of a superintendant or manager; as, the staff of a newspaper

  12. Origin: [G. staffiren to fill or fit out, adorn, fr. D. stoffeeren, OF. estoffer, F. toffer, fr. OF. estoffe stuff, F. toffe. See Stuff, n.]


  1. Staff

    A military staff is a group of officers and enlisted personnel that are responsible for the administrative, operational and logistical needs of its unit. It provides bi-directional flow of information between a commanding officer and subordinate military units. A staff also provides an executive function where it filters information needed by the commander or shunts unnecessary information.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Staff

    staf, n. a stick carried for support or defence: a prop: a long piece of wood: pole: a flagstaff: the long handle of an instrument: a stick or ensign of authority: the five lines and spaces on which music is written: a stanza (the previous meanings have pl. Staffs or Staves, stāvz): a body of skilled officers whose duty it is, under orders from the commanding officers of various grades, to arrange the movements and supply of the various bodies which go to make up an army: a similar body of persons in any undertaking, acting under a manager or chief (the last two meanings have pl. Staffs, stafs).—ns. Staff′-captain, the senior grade in the navigating branch in the British navy; Staff′-coll′ege, a college where military officers are trained in the higher branches of professional knowledge, and prepared for holding staff-appointments; Staff′-corps, a body of intelligent officers and men who performed engineering and siege duties, made reconnaissances, &c. during the wars of Wellington; (Indian) a body of British officers serving on the permanent Indian establishment, appointed from it to do duty with native regiments, &c.; Staff′-dū′ty, the occupation of an officer who serves on a staff, having been detached from his regiment; Staff′-notā′tion, musical notation in which a staff is used, as opposed to the tonic-solfa system; Staff′-sur′geon, a navy surgeon of senior grade; Staff′-sys′tem, a block-system in use on single-line railways in which the station-master gives the engine-driver a staff authorising him to proceed over a given portion. [A.S. stæf; Ice. stafr, Ger. stab.]

Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms

  1. staff

    See multinational staff; integrated staff; joint staff; parallel staff; special staff.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. staff

    A light pole erected in different parts of a ship, whereon to hoist and display the colours; as, the ensign-staff, reared immediately over the stern; the jack-staff, fixed on the bowsprit-cap. In military affairs, the staff includes all officials not having direct and specific military command, as the adjutant-general, quartermaster-general, majors of brigade, aides-de-camp, &c. This term has been unaccountably pilfered by the admiralty lately from the army, as a prefix to a naval title.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. staff

    The staff of an army consists of a body of skilled officers whose duty it is to combine and give vitality to the movements and mechanical action of the several regiments and drilled bodies composing the force. The distinction between an officer on the staff of an army and a regimental officer is that the latter is concerned with his own regiment alone, while the former deals with his army (of course under the orders of his commanding officer), or section of an army, and regulates the combined action of the several arms and bodies of men. A good staff is all-important to the success of a military enterprise. In the British service the general staff of an army comprises the general in actual command, with the subordinate generals commanding the several divisions and brigades; as assistants to these the officers of the adjutant-general’s department,—i.e., the adjutant-general, his deputy, assistants, and deputy-assistants, if the army be large enough to require them all. Similarly, the officers of the quartermaster-general’s department; the brigade-major; the provost-marshal, and the judge-advocate.

Suggested Resources

  1. staff

    The staff symbol -- In this Symbols.com article you will learn about the meaning of the staff symbol and its characteristic.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'staff' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #403

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'staff' in Written Corpus Frequency: #616

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'staff' in Nouns Frequency: #145

How to pronounce staff?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say staff in sign language?

  1. staff


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of staff in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of staff in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of staff in a Sentence

  1. Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura:

    I shocked my staff today.

  2. Donald Trump:

    You should do Joint Chiefs of Staff !

  3. Senate Intelligence:

    It was more staff doing deconfliction.

  4. Lynita Law-Reid:

    I have had staff say, ‘I can’t do it’.

  5. Alan Gross:

    To President Obama and the NSC staff, thank you.

Images & Illustrations of staff

  1. staffstaffstaffstaffstaff

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for staff

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