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back staff

an obsolete instrument for determining the altitude of the sun by facing away from the sun, sighting upon the horizon, adjusting a cursor until its shadow falls upon the sight through which the horizon appears, and measuring the resulting arc.
Origin of back staff
1620-30 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for back staff
  • People are cutting back staff, hoarding their own cash, keeping it going with their reserves.
  • The laid-back staff, clad in red, flit aloofly among the tables with a functional friendliness.
  • My holiday is over as far as business owners want to hire back staff, felt a little uneasy to think.

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