Definition of staffage in English:

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Pronunciation: /stəˈfɑːʒ/


[mass noun]
Accessory items in a painting, especially figures or animals in a landscape picture.
Example sentences
  • Here, museum officials watch expectantly as a cow examines a recently acquired landscape painting with bovine staffage.
  • Except for some staffage across the valley floor, the remainder of the vista corresponds to the etching with excruciating fidelity, with one notable exception.
  • Instead, he resorted to artistic licence as regards scale, spatial relationships and the introduction of staffage.


Late 19th century: from German, from staffieren 'decorate', perhaps from Old French estoffer, from estoffe 'stuff'.

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