English Dictionary

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Definitions of staff

staff1 (stɑːf



Word forms:   plural (for senses 1,3,4) staffs
Word forms:   or plural (for senses 5-9) staffs or staves  (steɪvz
  1. a group of people employed by a company, individual, etc, for executive, clerical, sales work, etc
  2. (modifier) attached to or provided for the staff of an establishment   ⇒  ■ a staff doctor
  3. the body of teachers or lecturers of an educational institution, as distinct from the students
  4. the officers appointed to assist a commander, service, or central headquarters organization in establishing policy, plans, etc
  5. a stick with some special use, such as a walking stick or an emblem of authority
  6. something that sustains or supports   ⇒  ■ bread is the staff of life
  7. a pole on which a flag is hung
  8. (mainly British) a graduated rod used in surveying, esp for sighting to with a levelling instrument. Usual US name: : rod
  9. 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 clef   ⇒  ■ the treble staff



  1. (transitive) to provide with a staff

Word Origin

Old English stæf; related to Old Frisian stef, Old Saxon staf, German Stab, Old Norse stafr, Gothic Stafs; see stave


View thesaurus entry
= workers, employees, personnel, workforce, team, organization
= stick, pole, rod, prop, crook, cane, stave, wand, sceptre

staff2 (stɑːf



  1. (US) a mixture of plaster and hair used to cover the external surface of temporary structures and for decoration

Word Origin

C19: of unknown origin

Translations for 'staff'

  • British English: staff The staff of an organization are the people who work for it.The staff were very good.stɑːf NOUNpersonnel
  • Arabic: مَجْمُوعَةُ الـعَامِلِيـن
  • Brazilian Portuguese: quadro de funcionários
  • Chinese: 工作人员
  • Croatian: osoblje
  • Czech: personál
  • Danish: personale
  • Dutch: personeel
  • European Spanish: plantilla
  • Finnish: sauva
  • French: personnel
  • German: Personal
  • Greek: προσωπικό
  • Italian: bastone
  • Japanese: 職員workers
  • Korean: 직원
  • Norwegian: stang
  • Polish: personel
  • Portuguese: quadro de funcionários
  • Romanian: staff staff-uri
  • Russian: персонал
  • Spanish: bastón
  • Swedish: stav
  • Thai: พนักงาน
  • Turkish: personelasa
  • Ukrainian: персонал
  • Vietnamese: cộtcọc
  • British English: staff A staff is a stout rod or stick.stɑːf NOUNstick
  • Arabic: عَصَا
  • Brazilian Portuguese: bastão
  • Chinese:
  • Croatian: štap
  • Czech: hůl
  • Danish: stav
  • Dutch: stok
  • European Spanish: bastón
  • Finnish: henkilökunta
  • French: bâtontravailleurs
  • German: Personal
  • Greek: προσωπικό
  • Italian: personaledipendenti
  • Japanese: stick or rod
  • Korean: 지팡이
  • Norwegian: stab
  • Polish: pałka
  • Portuguese: bastão
  • Romanian: baston bastoane
  • Russian: палка
  • Spanish: personalempleados
  • Swedish: personal
  • Thai: ไม้ค้ำ เสาค้ำ ไม้เท้า
  • Turkish: sopa
  • Ukrainian: палиця
  • Vietnamese: nhân viên

Example Sentences Including 'staff'

Webster's style would have been autocratic, the type who expected unquestioning obedience from his staff.
Stuart Harrison LOST SUMMER (2002)
He never went to the bars, instead preferring to sip champagne delivered ahead of the performance by one of the opera house staff.
Without his staff he had no more power than any other mortal.
Jennifer Fallon TREASON KEEP (2001)


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