staff

1 of 2

noun

plural staffs ˈstafs How to pronounce staff (audio)
ˈstavz
or staves ˈstavz How to pronounce staff (audio)
ˈstāvz
1
a
: a long stick carried in the hand for support in walking
b
: a supporting rod: such as
(1)
archaic : shaft sense 1a(1)
(2)
: a crosspiece in a ladder or chair : rung
(3)
(4)
: a pivoted arbor
c
2
a
b
: a rod carried as a symbol of office or authority
3
: the horizontal lines with their spaces on which music is written

called also stave

4
: any of various graduated sticks or rules used for measuring : rod
5
plural staffs
a
: the officers chiefly responsible for the internal operations of an institution or business
b
: a group of officers appointed to assist a civil executive or commanding officer
c
: military or naval officers not eligible for operational command
d
: the personnel who assist a director in carrying out an assigned task
e
plural staff : a member of a staff
employs three full-time staff
staff adjective

staff

2 of 2

verb

staffed; staffing; staffs

transitive verb

1
: to supply with a staff or with workers
2
: to serve as a staff member of
an organization staffed by volunteers

Examples of staff in a Sentence

Noun The entire staff has done a great job this year. The staff is at a meeting. She's a new member of the staff. The general's staff is planning the army's next move. Verb We'll need 300 workers to properly staff the hotel. the 300 workers who staff the hotel See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
National Weather Service staff who surveyed properties determined two tornadoes occurred. Journal Sentinel, 26 Feb. 2024 Harbaugh has assembled a staff of 29 assistants, including two coordinators — Greg Roman on offense and Jesse Minter on defense — also new to the organization. Jeff Miller, Los Angeles Times, 26 Feb. 2024 During Morgan’s Seattle days, he was stationed in an office down the hall from the Seahawks coaching staff, which included future Panthers head coach Dave Canales. Mike Kaye, Charlotte Observer, 26 Feb. 2024 The staff of Pitchfork listens to a lot of new music. Pitchfork, 26 Feb. 2024 Whether through donating, partnerships, or volunteering, AGFA is for all and I’m honored to work alongside the incredibly talented staff, board, our partners, and the community to move the organization into this exciting new chapter. Jaden Thompson, Variety, 26 Feb. 2024 On the key question of whether senior leadership generates high levels of motivation and commitment from staff, scores dropped from 80% in 2020 to under 50% in each of the subsequent three years. Alan Murray, Fortune, 26 Feb. 2024 Affected staff have begun receiving the news and will have the opportunity to apply for open positions elsewhere within Google, the company said. Bloomberg, Orange County Register, 25 Feb. 2024 Senate staff includes three general policy advisers who make between $105,000 and $130,000 per year. The Arizona Republic, 25 Feb. 2024
Verb
The federal prison system — which houses roughly 157,000 inmates and is staffed by approximately 35,000 employees — has been plagued for years by staffing shortages and turnover. Robert Legare, CBS News, 15 Feb. 2024 Restore and Respect the U.S. Military – rebuild America’s military strength, pioneer continued development of latest technology and equipment, appropriately fund, house and staff our military branches. Eleanor Dearman, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 15 Feb. 2024 The company is staffing up, appointing top executives in charge of design, production, and technology. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, 15 Feb. 2024 Once staffed, CAIOs manage implementations by facilitating collaboration across specialties and departments. Mark Minevich, Forbes, 15 Feb. 2024 In doing so, rail industry lobbyists also fought the Biden administration on even the most basic upgrades, from efforts to ensure that engineers have special breathing equipment onboard to new rules that would require miles-long trains to be staffed with more than one person. Tony Romm, Washington Post, 3 Feb. 2024 The stores are staffed by volunteers and proceeds support the local libraries. Linda McIntosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Feb. 2024 Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, the first Native woman to hold a Cabinet post, has called the issue a priority for the Biden Administration; under her guidance, the Bureau of Indian Affairs has formed a Missing and Murdered Unit and hired dozens of investigators to staff it. Rachel Monroe, The New Yorker, 1 Feb. 2024 Soon-Shiong said in his memo to staff that he’d been impressed by Tang’s approach to the editorial page. Katie Kilkenny, The Hollywood Reporter, 25 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'staff.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English staf, from Old English stæf; akin to Old High German stab staff, Sanskrit stabhnāti he supports

First Known Use

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1859, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of staff was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near staff

Cite this Entry

“Staff.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/staff. Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

staff

1 of 2 noun
plural staffs ˈstafs How to pronounce staff (audio)
ˈstavz
or staves ˈstavz How to pronounce staff (audio)
ˈstāvz
1
a
: a pole, stick, rod, or bar used as a support or as a sign of authority
a flag hanging limp on its staff
b
: the long handle of a weapon (as a lance or pike)
2
: something that is a source of strength
bread is the staff of life
3
: the five horizontal lines and the spaces between them on which music is written
4
plural staffs
a
: a group of persons serving as assistants to or employees under a chief
a hospital staff
b
: military officers who assist a commanding officer in planning and management but who do not take part in actual combat
staff adjective

staff

2 of 2 verb
: to supply with a staff or with workers

Medical Definition

staff

noun
: the doctors and surgeons regularly attached to a hospital and helping to determine its policies and guide its activities

More from Merriam-Webster on staff

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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