[syn: staff, stave]
1. provide with staff;
- Example: "This position is not always staffed"
2. serve on the staff of;
- Example: "The two men staff the reception desk"
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Staff \Staff\ (st[.a]f), n.; pl. Staves (st[=a]vz or
st[aum]vz; 277) or Staffs (st[.a]fs) 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. sth[=a]pay to cause
to stand, to place. See Stand, and cf. Stab, Stave, n.]
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
And he put the staves into the rings on the sides of
the altar to bear it withal. --Ex. xxxviii.
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. --Shak.
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
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. --Shak.
All his officers brake their staves; but at their
return new staves were delivered unto them.
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.
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 ['E]tat Major.
11. 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
[1913 Webster +PJC]
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."
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
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.]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Staff \Staff\ (st[.a]f), n. [G. staffiren to fill or fit out,
adorn, fr. D. stoffeeren, OF. estoffer, F. ['e]toffer, fr.
OF. estoffe stuff, F. ['e]toffe. See Stuff, n.] (Arch.)
Plaster combined with fibrous and other materials so as to be
suitable for sculpture in relief or in the round, or for
forming flat plates or boards of considerable size which can
be nailed to framework to make the exterior of a larger
structure, forming joints which may afterward be repaired and
concealed with fresh plaster.
[Webster 1913 Suppl.]
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: 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
2: a strong rod or stick with a specialized utilitarian purpose;
"he walked with the help of a wooden staff"
3: the body of teachers and administrators at a school; "the
dean addressed the letter to the entire staff of the
university" [syn: staff, faculty]
4: building material consisting of plaster and hair; used to
cover external surfaces of temporary structure (as at an
exposition) or for decoration
5: a rod carried as a symbol
6: (music) the system of five horizontal lines on which the
musical notes are written [syn: staff, stave]
v 1: provide with staff; "This position is not always staffed"
2: serve on the staff of; "The two men staff the reception desk"
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:
236 Moby Thesaurus words for "staff":
British Cabinet, Malacca cane, Sanhedrin, US Cabinet, accouter,
advisory body, advocate, alpenstock, appoint, arm, armory,
assembly, association, athletic supporter, back, backbone, backing,
badge, badge of office, badges, baluster, balustrade, bandeau,
banister, bar, bar line, base, baton, bearer, bench, blazonry,
board, body of advisers, borough council, bra, brace, bracer,
bracket, brain trust, brassard, brassiere, button, buttress,
cabinet, caduceus, camarilla, cane, cap and gown, carrier,
caryatid, cervix, chain, chain of office, chamber, city council,
class ring, club, cockade, collar, colonnade, column,
common council, conference, congress, consultative assembly,
corset, council, council fire, council of ministers,
council of state, council of war, county council, court, crew,
crook, crosier, cross, cross-staff, crozier, crutch, crutch-stick,
dado, decoration, degree, deliberative assembly, die, diet,
directory, divan, dress, eagle, emblems, employees, ensigns, equip,
fasces, figurehead, fit, fit out, fit up, fleur-de-lis, footstalk,
force, foundation garment, fulcrum, furnish, gang, gavel, gear,
girdle, guy, guywire, hammer and sickle, handstaff, heel, help,
heraldry, hired help, insignia, jack, jock, jockstrap, junta,
kitchen cabinet, lapel pin, ledger line, legislature, line, lituus,
livery, mace, mainstay, maintainer, man, mantle, markings, mast,
medal, men, mortarboard, munition, neck, newel-post,
old school tie, organization, outfit, parish council,
pastoral staff, paterissa, peduncle, personnel, pier, pike,
pilaster, pile, piling, pillar, pin, plinth, pole, portfolio, post,
prepare, privy council, prop, quarterstaff, queen-post, regalia,
reinforce, reinforcement, reinforcer, rest, resting place, retinue,
rig, rig out, rig up, rigging, ring, rod, rod of office, rose,
scepter, school ring, servantry, shaft, shamrock, shillelagh,
shoulder, shroud, sigillography, skull and crossbones, socle,
soviet, space, sphragistics, spine, sprit, stake, stalk, stanchion,
stand, standard, standing rigging, stave, stay, stem, stick,
stiffener, strengthener, subbase, support, supporter, surbase,
sustainer, swagger stick, swanking stick, swastika, syndicate,
synod, tartan, team, the help, thistle, tie, tribunal, truncheon,
trunk, turn out, uniform, upholder, upright, verge, walking stick,
wand, wand of office