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. st[ae]f 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 pike. [1913 Webster]

And he put the staves into the rings on the sides of the altar to bear it withal. --Ex. xxxviii. 7. [1913 Webster]

With forks and staves the felon to pursue. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

The boy was the very staff of my age. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

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 hand. --Prof. Wilson. [1913 Webster]

3. A pole, stick, or wand borne as an ensign of authority; a badge of office; as, a constable's staff. [1913 Webster]

Methought this staff, mine office badge in court, Was broke in twain. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

All his officers brake their staves; but at their return new staves were delivered unto them. --Hayward. [1913 Webster]

4. A pole upon which a flag is supported and displayed. [1913 Webster]

5. The round of a ladder. [R.] [1913 Webster]

I ascended at one [ladder] of six hundred and thirty-nine staves. --Dr. J. Campbell (E. Brown's Travels). [1913 Webster]

6. A series of verses so disposed that, when it is concluded, the same order begins again; a stanza; a stave. [1913 Webster]

Cowley found out that no kind of staff is proper for an heroic poem, as being all too lyrical. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

7. (Mus.) The five lines and the spaces on which music is written; -- formerly called {stave}. [1913 Webster]

8. (Mech.) An arbor, as of a wheel or a pinion of a watch. [1913 Webster]

9. (Surg.) The grooved director for the gorget, or knife, used in cutting for stone in the bladder. [1913 Webster]

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}. [1913 Webster]

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 newspaper. [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.'' --Swift.

{Staff tree} (Bot.), any plant of the genus {Celastrus}, mostly climbing shrubs of the northern hemisphere. The American species ({C. scandens}) is commonly called {bittersweet}. See 2d {Bittersweet}, 3 (b) .

{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.] [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Stave — Stave, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Staved} (st[=a]vd) or {Stove} (st[=o]v); p. pr. & vb. n. {Staving}.] [From {Stave}, n., or {Staff}, n.] 1. To break in a stave or the staves of; to break a hole in; to burst; often with in; as, to stave a cask; to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Stave — (st[=a]v), n. [From {Staff}, and corresponding to the pl. staves. See {Staff}.] 1. One of a number of narrow strips of wood, or narrow iron plates, placed edge to edge to form the sides, covering, or lining of a vessel or structure; esp., one of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • stave — [steɪv] verb stave something → off phrasal verb [transitive] to prevent something bad from happening or affecting you for a short period of time: • The company is restructuring in an attempt to stave off bankruptcy …   Financial and business terms

  • stave — [stāv] n. [ME, taken as sing. of staves, pl. of staf,STAFF1] 1. a) any of the thin, shaped strips of wood or metal, set edge to edge to form or strengthen the wall of a barrel, bucket, etc. b) any similar slat, bar, rung, stay, etc. 2. a stick or …   English World dictionary

  • Stave — can refer to:*Staff (music), a set of five horizontal lines and four spaces used in musical notation *Stave church, a Medieval wooden church with post and beam construction prevalent in Norway *The individual wood strips that form the sides of a… …   Wikipedia

  • Stave — benennt: John Stave (1929–1993), deutscher Schriftsteller und Satiriker Stave Island, Name mehrerer Inseln in den Vereinigten Staaten Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung zur Unterscheidung mehrerer mit demselben W …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • stave — (n.) piece of a barrel, 1750, back formation from staves (late 14c.), plural of STAFF (Cf. staff) (Cf. leaves/leaf), possibly from O.E., but not recorded there. The verb (to stave in, past tense stove) is 1590s, originally nautical, on notion of… …   Etymology dictionary

  • stave — ► NOUN 1) any of the lengths of wood fixed side by side to make a barrel, bucket, etc. 2) a strong stick, post, or pole. 3) (also staff) Music a set of five parallel lines on or between any of which a note is written to indicate its pitch. 4) a… …   English terms dictionary

  • Stave — Stave, v. i. To burst in pieces by striking against something; to dash into fragments. [1913 Webster] Like a vessel of glass she stove and sank. Longfellow. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • stave — noun. One of its meanings is the same as that of staff, a set of lines on which musical notes are written. The plural of both forms is staves. stave verb. Both staved and stove are used for the past tense and past participle. Staved off is more… …   Modern English usage

  • stave — verb avert, avoid, beat off, block, check, deflect, drive away, fend off, fugare, hamper, hinder, hold off, impede, inhibit, intercept, keep at bay, keep off, obstruct, prevent, propulsare, push away, put off, repel, repellere, shun, turn aside,… …   Law dictionary

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