Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: GOVERNMENT

Language: Old English
Origin: stæf 'stick'

staff

1 noun
     
staff1 S2 W2
1

workers

[C also + plural verb British English] the people who work for an organization:
The entire staff has done an outstanding job this year.
They employ a total of 150 staff.
The staff were very helpful.
staff of 10/50 etc
Our department has a staff of seven.
medical/academic/library etc staff
a strike by ambulance staff
one of our longest-serving staff members
member of staff British English
I'd like to welcome a new member of staff.
on the staff (of something)
We were both on the staff of the British Film Institute at the time.
on staff American English
Joan is the only lawyer we have on staff.
staff room/meeting (=a room or meeting for teachers in a school)
2

stick

[countable] plural staves
a) old useD a long thick stick to help you walk
b) PG a long thick stick that an official holds in some ceremonies
3

music

[countable]APM especially American English the set of five lines that music is written on [= stave]
4

the staff of life

literary bread
general staff, ground staffGRAMMAR GRAMMAR

In British English, staff can be singular or plural. In American English, staff is not used as frequently as in British English, and is never followed by a plural verb.!! You never refer to a person as 'a staff'. Say a member of staff (BrE) or an employee .
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