—n. 1. a group of persons, as employees, charged with carrying out the work of an establishment or executing some undertaking.
2. a group of assistants to a manager, superintendent, or executive.
3. Mil. a. a body of officers without command authority, appointed to assist a commanding officer.
b. the parts of any army concerned with administrative matters, planning, etc., rather than with actual participation in combat.
4. those members of an organization serving only in an auxiliary or advisory capacity on a given project. Cf. line1 (def. 38).
5. a stick, pole, or rod for aid in walking or climbing, for use as a weapon, etc.
6. a rod or wand serving as a symbol of office or authority, as a crozier, baton, truncheon, or mace.
7. a pole on which a flag is hung or displayed.
8. something that supports or sustains.
9. Also,stave.Music.a set of horizontal lines, now five in number, with the corresponding four spaces between them, on which music is written.
10. Archaic.the shaft of a spear, lance, etc.
—adj. 1. of or pertaining to a military or organizational staff: a staff officer; staff meetings. 2. (of a professional person) employed on the staff of a corporation, publication, institution, or the like rather than being self-employed or practicing privately: a staff writer; staff physicians at the hospital.
—v.t. 1. to provide with a staff of assistants or workers: She staffed her office with excellent secretaries. 2. to serve on the staff of.
3. to send to a staff for study or further work (often fol. by out): The White House will staff out the recommendations before making a decision.
—v.i. to hire employees, as for a new office or project (sometimes fol. by up): Next month we'll begin staffing up for the reelection campaign.
Pronunciation: (staf, stäf),[key] —n. a composition of plaster and fibrous material used for a temporary finish and in ornamental work, as on exposition buildings.