Main definitions of staff in English

: staff1staff2

staff1

noun

  • 1treated as singular or plural All the people employed by a particular organization.

    ‘a staff of 600’
    ‘hospital staff were not to blame’
    • ‘His family farm has grown to employ 800 full-time staff and 2,500 seasonal workers.’
    • ‘Miss Lowe said that the company had not trained its staff in the correct procedure, but it had now done so and changed its loading technique.’
    • ‘The only way I've ever gotten a job is because I know somebody on the staff or the owner.’
    • ‘It will take time to train up the staff, but I am hopeful that the post office can get on top of the problem in the coming months.’
    • ‘Dr Hawkins, your mother tells me you're on the staff at the Women's hospital.’
    • ‘Licensees have a responsibility to train their staff and they need to take it seriously.’
    • ‘A spokesman for the bank said all its staff are trained to spot fraud and it was delighted at their vigilance.’
    • ‘Shanahan isn't much of a motivator, and nobody else on the staff really has taken on that role.’
    • ‘I have nothing but praise for the doctors, nurses and other medical staff at Soroka Hospital.’
    • ‘He said there would be 20 new faces on the staff in September, due to retirements and people moving on.’
    • ‘She was on the staff of Rathdowney Designer Centre Fashions, where she excelled as a sales person.’
    • ‘The young lady assured the owner that she had received permission from someone on the staff to put up the flyer.’
    • ‘He said that earlier on the staff voted against the bank's proposal to open its branches on Saturdays.’
    • ‘He since has earned a more permanent spot on the staff with good early-season work.’
    • ‘At the time, 200 assembly line workers and 30 sales staff were employed there.’
    • ‘If you run a small business it can be hard to find time to train your staff.’
    • ‘Borlaza's sister, Vie, who was said to be a registered nurse, was also put on the staff.’
    • ‘She was on the staff of other hospitals and was medical director of the Violet Melchett Mothercraft Home for many years.’
    • ‘The library staff attach a sign to the door and lock it whenever large groups of children gather in the square outside.’
    • ‘Although she admits that being open 24 hours a day can be taxing on the staff, they are very dedicated.’
    employees, workers, workforce, personnel, hands, hired hands, labourers, human resources, manpower, labour
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The teachers in a school or college.
      as modifier ‘a staff meeting’
      • ‘And since then he has become a valued member of staff at the Stretford college.’
      • ‘Each class has at least one member of support staff and a teacher.’
      • ‘That can lead to studying for a National Vocational Qualification, with support from the college and staff from school.’
      • ‘She also wanted schools to make more use of staff from colleges, universities, and business.’
      • ‘Mrs Blenkinsop attributed the success to the hard work of teachers and education department staff and the support of parents.’
      • ‘Up to 12 members of staff have left the college because they are unhappy with the new setup.’
      • ‘Praise was lauded on the staff of the Colaiste for their continued high academic standards.’
      • ‘I would also like to acknowledge the hard work put in by staff in schools and colleges to enable students to do so well.’
      • ‘For adult learners with other commitments there will be the chance to talk to college staff about part-time study.’
      • ‘We will ask the teachers and other staff members to receive the visiting guests and let the students go back to class.’
      • ‘Though I teach in my job, I am not employed as an Academic member of staff to the University.’
      • ‘He was appointed to the Faculty of Columbia University in 1941 and he remained on the staff there until his death.’
      • ‘College staff say Jim's performance in the classroom has been remarkable.’
      • ‘Professor Wilkins was still a member of staff at King's College London at the time of his death.’
      • ‘He was acknowledged as the public face of the college, the first member of staff to be seen as anyone entered the institute.’
      • ‘The Academy is run by the Head Teacher and four teaching staff, including a personal tutor.’
      • ‘König joined the University at a time when there were other talented and enthusiastic mathematicians on the staff.’
      • ‘In many school districts, these are teachers or other staff members looking for a new job.’
      • ‘As part of our college tradition, a staff member visits a family when they are going through a rough patch.’
      • ‘Two weeks ago the College Steward banned staff members from drinking with students.’
  • 2treated as singular or plural A group of officers assisting an officer in command of an army formation or administration headquarters.

    ‘the Polish General and his staff’
    as modifier ‘after the Second World War he took up a string of staff appointments’
    • ‘Also embarked in the carrier was the staff of Commander Amphibious Task Group.’
    • ‘Many officers, staff and recruits have been injured in the accidents, he said.’
    • ‘If you do, you will set the standard for the staff and serve your commander well.’
    • ‘Applications are available from military personnel flights and commander support staffs.’
    • ‘Enloe 32 argues that army support staff, where women play a major part, have a relegated status.’
    • ‘Trained, cohesive staffs are key to combat effectiveness.’
    • ‘It would be years before we met again, this time as generals on the staff of the Army in Europe.’
    • ‘He was the first staff air medical officer to be appointed by the Royal Navy.’
    • ‘On such schemes, the staff designated two officers and one radio operator to work as a team.’
    • ‘Apparently, the admiral set it up so you could meet with the whole command staff.’
    • ‘A few non-regimental doctors served on the administrative staff for general and field hospitals.’
    • ‘He held key staff positions with troops at the battalion, brigade and division levels.’
    • ‘Two of the measures were based on interpretations of statements made by the staff and officers of the base.’
    • ‘Benin's chief of army staff, Fernard Amoussou, said one of the plane's two black boxes was found.’
    • ‘The command and control module should be based on one or several command and staff vehicles.’
    • ‘The combatant commanders have private aircraft to transport them and members of their staffs to distant destinations and elaborate communications systems to ensure that they are never out of touch.’
    • ‘Much of the manning for each center should be drawn from the component command's staff.’
    • ‘He has served in various command and staff positions in the continental United States.’
    • ‘The other officers at the Battalion staff meeting whispered to each other nervously.’
    • ‘What seemed like a flawless operation has become a nightmare for the commander and his staff.’
    1. 2.1
      short for staff sergeant
      • ‘The Staff seem to think that exposure to the elements is good for us.’
  • 3A long stick used as a support when walking or climbing or as a weapon.

    ‘a shepherd's staff’
    figurative ‘he adopted literature as the staff of his pilgrimage’
    • ‘Both depict Liberty figures standing with their fasces and bonnets supported on staffs before key locations in Rome, as if claiming them as their own.’
    • ‘No portraits hung on the walls, instead impressive decorative weapons; staffs, jewels and tapestries covered the wall.’
    • ‘Then, with his staff, he stuck holes into the mud, and into each of these holes, he spread his maize.’
    • ‘It was a wide arena, with a lodge at one end; I suppose to store the weapons: staffs, swords, bows, etc.’
    • ‘Mhlongo circles the stage, then leans down on the staff and shakes her hips at the crowd.’
    • ‘She stuck her staff under her arm then reached towards the tangle with her now-free hand.’
    • ‘He gazed down into the water and noticed the staff of one boat sticking above the surface.’
    • ‘Feeling his strength renewed he cast aside his staff and walked steadily upon lush, green grass.’
    • ‘Belloc stood over it, leaning on his staff for support, his face lined with exhaustion.’
    • ‘In one cabinet were metal weapons, from staffs to daggers.’
    stick, walking stick, cane, crook, crutch, prop
    club, stick, cudgel, bludgeon, life preserver, shillelagh, baseball bat
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1 A rod or sceptre held as a sign of office or authority.
      • ‘All of the mages had staffs appropriate to their height with globes resting atop them.’
      • ‘The Hemba chief holds a cane or staff, sign of authority passed down from the founder of the state.’
      rod, tipstaff, mace, wand, sceptre, crozier, verge
      View synonyms
    2. 3.2
      short for flagstaff
      • ‘Surmounting the whole structure will be the staff for the flag, and the tower and flag will form one of the landmarks at Valley Forge.’
      • ‘When I find a staff for the flag, I'll find a way to tie our mascot on the staff in some way.’
    3. 3.3Surveying A rod for measuring distances or heights.
      • ‘he Nedo Messtronic is an easy-to-use digital telescopic measuring staff for skilled trades.’
      • ‘In many cases, actual measuring staffs or rods, to indicate the exact dimensions of the ironwork, should be sent to the site in advance.’
    4. 3.4British A spindle in a watch.
      • ‘It has jaws adapted to receive and grasp a roller and a movable sliding spindle to engage with the staff of the balance-wheel, and a lever for operating the spindle.’
    5. 3.5British A token in the form of a rod given to a train driver as authority to proceed over a single-track line.
      • ‘When the train arrived at the other end of the single line, the staff was given up to allow a train to proceed in the opposite direction.’
      • ‘Authority to enter the single line was by the signalman at the entrance giving the driver a "staff", a rod of wood or metal, on which the name of the single line was stamped.’
  • 4Music

    another term for stave (sense 2 of the noun)

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • Provide (an organization, business, etc.) with staff.

    ‘legal advice centres are staffed by volunteer lawyers’
    ‘all units are fully staffed’
    • ‘For ten years the lighthouse was happily staffed by a three man crew, rotated every fortnight.’
    • ‘The units are staffed to treat people with injuries such as cuts, bruises, sprains and simple fractures.’
    • ‘The service is staffed by volunteers, who are specially trained in the area of domestic violence.’
    • ‘It was a fully staffed division but we wound up closing it since we couldn't find a way to make money at it.’
    • ‘More than 100 staff are now working there and all regional centres are staffed.’
    • ‘When the High Street store first opened it was staffed entirely by volunteers.’
    • ‘The centre will be staffed by a total of 300 people at full capacity by the middle of this year.’
    • ‘We have around 350 staff at the moment and we hope to be fully staffed by early 2005.’
    • ‘Our shops were mostly small family businesses, owned and staffed by Scots.’
    • ‘It will operate as a division of the High Court and be staffed by officials with expertise in company law.’
    • ‘We are a very small organisation and we are not staffed up to handle big surges in communication.’
    • ‘He said an indoor skate park would need to be staffed by volunteers or possibly the parents of skaters.’
    • ‘The Centre is staffed by trained volunteers who are available to meet all callers.’
    • ‘We outlined the events leading up to the accident and we were able to confirm that the ward was fully staffed.’
    • ‘Dr Anthony made it clear that the unit was fully staffed by a team of highly competent specialists.’
    • ‘This unit will be staffed by experienced personnel with access to expert advice as required.’
    • ‘Education, social services and county catering teams staffed the rest centre.’
    • ‘The museum will be open five days a week and will be staffed by a group of volunteers.’
    • ‘The centre's healthcare unit is staffed by a manger and ten nurses.’
    • ‘As a student newspaper, staffed by volunteers, we cannot hope to catch everything.’
    man, people, crew, work, operate, occupy
    View synonyms

Phrases

  • the staff of life

    • A staple food, especially bread.

      • ‘She ended the ceremony by presenting family members with a loaf of bread representing the staff of life, a bottle of wine representing the joy of companionship, a bouquet of flowers representing beauty and renewal, and a Bible.’
      • ‘The egg represents rebirth; the flour the staff of life; the salt wholesomeness and the milk, innocence.’
      • ‘For a while now I've been interested in the fact that grain - the staff of life, the staple food for most of the world, the building-block of most civilizations - is actually quite dangerous in large quantities.’
      • ‘Especially in October and November, Moore's long letters return again and again to Peggy: ‘Peggy is the staff of life.’’
      • ‘Carbonated beverages are the staff of life in the United States.’
      • ‘Bread is the cornerstone of our diet, the staff of life.’
      • ‘From pones baked up in cast iron skillets in the Appalachians to loaves laced with spicy peppers in the Southeast, cornbread has been the staff of life for many families.’
      • ‘It is the staff of life for the penguin, petrel, crabeater, leopard seal, and the Antarctic whales.’
      • ‘Wheat farmers, under pressure from continued global competition, are moving away from the staff of life.’
      • ‘Strong wheat prices last summer and early fall - and a better set of base and target prices offered in the 2002 Farm Bill - convinced many Great Plains farmers to shift some newfound corn and soybean ground back to the staff of life.’

Origin

Old English stæf (in staff (sense 3 of the noun)), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch staf and German Stab.

Pronunciation

staff

/stɑːf/

Main definitions of staff in English

: staff1staff2

staff2

noun

mass noun
  • A mixture of plaster of Paris, cement, or a similar material, used for temporary building work.

    • ‘Staff may easily be bent, sawed, bored, or nailed.’
    • ‘Staff was invented in France about 1876 and was used in the construction and ornamentation of the buildings of the Paris Expositions of 1878 and of 1889.’

Origin

Late 19th century: of unknown origin.

Pronunciation

staff

/stɑːf/