rod and staff meaning, rod and staff definition | English Cobuild dictionary

Collins

staff

  
[1]  
      n   pl  
     (for senses 1, 3, 4)   , staffs  
     (for senses 5--9)   , staffs, staves  
1    a group of people employed by a company, individual, etc., for executive, clerical, sales work, etc.  
2    modifier   attached to or provided for the staff of an establishment  
a staff doctor     
3    the body of teachers or lecturers of an educational institution, as distinct from the students  
4    the officers appointed to assist a commander, service, or central headquarters organization in establishing policy, plans, etc.  
5    a stick with some special use, such as a walking stick or an emblem of authority  
6    something that sustains or supports  
bread is the staff of life     
7    a pole on which a flag is hung  
8      (Chiefly Brit)   a graduated rod used in surveying, esp. for sighting to with a levelling instrument,   (Usual U.S. name)    rod  
9      (Also called)    stave     (Music)  
a    the system of horizontal lines grouped into sets of five (four in the case of plainsong) upon which music is written. The spaces between them are also used, being employed in conjunction with a clef in order to give a graphic indication of pitch  
b    any set of five lines in this system together with its clef  
the treble staff     
      vb  
10    tr   to provide with a staff  
     (Old English stæf; related to Old Frisian stef, Old Saxon staf, German Stab, Old Norse stafr, Gothic Stafs; see stave)  
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"Collins English Dictionary 5th Edition first published in 2000 © HarperCollins Publishers 1979, 1986, 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000 and Collins A-Z Thesaurus 1st edition first published in 1995 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995"