staff

Staff means everyone who works at a particular place. You might suspect that the town library's not a very fun place to work if its staff is always incredibly cranky every time you visit.

Staff refers to all of the employees at a business, or especially a school, where the teachers as a group are called "the staff." A completely different meaning of staff is a long wooden stick or rod, particularly one that has a specific purpose — like a walking stick or a weapon. This is the original meaning of staff, from the Old English stæf. It wasn't until the nineteenth century that the word staff was used to mean "group of employees."

PRIMARY MEANINGS OF: staff

1
n
a strong rod or stick with a specialized utilitarian purpose
2
nv
personnel who assist their superior in carrying out an assigned task
serve on the staff of
3
n
building material consisting of plaster and hair; used to cover external surfaces of temporary structure (as at an exposition) or for decoration
FULL DEFINITIONS OF: staff
1

n a strong rod or stick with a specialized utilitarian purpose

“he walked with the help of a wooden staff
Types:
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alpenstock
a stout staff with a metal point; used by mountain climbers
baton
a short staff carried by some officials to symbolize an office or an authority
crook, shepherd's crook
a long staff with one end being hook shaped
crutch
a wooden or metal staff that fits under the armpit and reaches to the ground; used by disabled person while walking
distaff
the staff on which wool or flax is wound before spinning
flagpole, flagstaff
a tall staff or pole on which a flag is raised
pikestaff
the staff of a pike
quarterstaff
a long stout staff used as a weapon
Type of:
stick
an implement consisting of a length of wood

n a rod carried as a symbol

Types:
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crosier, crozier
a staff surmounted by a crook or cross carried by bishops as a symbol of pastoral office
mace
a ceremonial staff carried as a symbol of office or authority
scepter, sceptre, verge, wand
a ceremonial or emblematic staff
tipstaff
staff with a metal tip carried as a sign of office by e.g. a bailiff or constable
bauble
a mock scepter carried by a court jester
Type of:
symbol
an arbitrary sign (written or printed) that has acquired a conventional significance

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

Synonyms:
stave
Type of:
musical notation
(music) notation used by musicians
2

n 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”
Types:
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newsroom
the staff of a newspaper or the news department of a periodical
office, office staff
professional or clerical workers in an office
research staff
a group of associated research workers in a university or library or laboratory
sales staff
those in a business who are responsible for sales
security staff
those in an organization responsible for preventing spying or theft
maintenance staff, service staff
those in a business responsible for maintaining the physical plant
general staff
military officers assigned to assist a senior officer in planning military policy
headquarters staff
military staff stationed at headquarters
Type of:
force, personnel
group of people willing to obey orders

n the body of teachers and administrators at a school

“the dean addressed the letter to the entire staff of the university”
Synonyms:
faculty
Type of:
body
a group of persons associated by some common tie or occupation and regarded as an entity

v serve on the staff of

“The two men staff the reception desk”
Type of:
serve
do duty or hold offices; serve in a specific function

v provide with staff

“This position is not always staffed
Types:
man
provide with workers
crew
serve as a crew member on
Type of:
cater, ply, provide, supply
give what is desired or needed, especially support, food or sustenance
3

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

Type of:
building material
material used for constructing buildings
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