Meaning of STATE in English

I. state 1 S1 W2 /steɪt/ BrE AmE noun

[ Date: 1100-1200 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: estat , from Latin status , from the past participle of stare 'to stand' ]

1 . CONDITION [countable] the physical or mental condition that someone or something is in

state of

There are fears for the state of the country’s economy.

in a bad/terrible etc state

When we bought the house, it was in a terrible state.

sb’s mental/physical/emotional state

Frankly, I wouldn’t trust his emotional state right now.

She was in an extremely confused state of mind.

in no fit state to do something (=should not do something because you are not in a suitable condition)

David’s in no fit state to drive.

She can’t go home now. Look at the state of her!

be in a good/bad state of repair (=be in good condition and not need repairing, or be in bad condition)

The boat was in a good state of repair.

The country was in a state of war (=officially fighting a war) .

Water exists in three states: liquid, gaseous, and solid.

⇨ ↑ state of emergency

2 . GOVERNMENT [singular, uncountable] ( also the State ) especially British English the government or political organization of a country:

The state has allocated special funds for the emergency.

state employees/property/regulations etc especially British English :

limits on salary increases for state workers

state-owned/state-funded/state-subsidized etc (=owned, paid for etc by the government)

a state-funded community housing project

matters/affairs of state (=the business of the government) ⇨ ↑ welfare state

3 . COUNTRY [countable] a country considered as a political organization:

a NATO member state (=a country belonging to NATO)

democratic/one-party/totalitarian etc state ⇨ ↑ police state

4 . PART OF A COUNTRY [countable] ( also State British English ) one of the areas with limited law-making powers that together make up a country controlled by a central government, such as the US and Australia ⇨ province , county , region :

Queensland is one of the states of Australia.

the state of Iowa

state employees/property/regulations etc

the state government

state and federal taxes

5 . the States spoken a word meaning the US, used especially by someone when they are outside the US:

Which part of the States would you suggest I visit?

6 . be in a state/get into a state British English spoken to be or become very nervous, anxious, or excited:

Mum and Dad were in a right state when I got in.

7 . OFFICIAL CEREMONY [uncountable] the official ceremonies and events connected with government or rulers:

the Queen’s first state visit here in 17 years

music for state occasions (=special public events)

8 . state of affairs formal a situation

unsatisfactory/sad/sorry state etc of affairs

I must say this is a very unsatisfactory state of affairs.

9 . the state of play especially British English

a) the position reached in an activity or process that has not finished yet:

What is the state of play in the current negotiations?

b) the score in a sports game

10 . lie in state if the body of an important person who has just died lies in state, it is put in a public place so that people can go and show their respect

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COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 1)

■ adjectives

▪ a bad state ( also a poor/sorry state )

The report commented on the poor state of the roads.

▪ a terrible state

His apartment was in a terrible state.

▪ a healthy state (=a good state)

Student numbers at the college are in a healthy state.

▪ sb’s mental/emotional state

Whenever Ben stops his medication, his mental state deteriorates.

▪ sb’s physical state

Our emotions can have an effect on our physical state.

▪ sth’s natural state

There's a plan to return large areas of farmland to their natural state.

▪ sth’s present/current state

We can deduce how the planet evolved from its beginnings to its present state.

▪ a constant/permanent/perpetual state of something

They lived in a constant state of fear.

▪ an advanced state of something

The dead bird was in an advanced state of decay.

■ phrases

▪ sb’s state of mind

What was his state of mind at the time of the attack?

▪ sb’s state of health

The doctor said my general state of health was good.

▪ sth’s state of repair/preservation

School buildings should be kept in a good state of repair.

▪ a state of shock/confusion/panic etc

Howard, still in a state of shock, stared at Newman.

▪ a state of collapse (=the state of being very ill or weak)

The economy was in a state of collapse.

▪ a state of war

Syria was still in a state of war with Israel.

▪ the present/current state of knowledge

That is the best advice we can offer, given our current state of knowledge about the disease.

• • •

COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 3)


▪ an independent state ( also a sovereign state formal )

Croatia became an independent state in 1991.

▪ a democratic state

They wanted to transform the country into a modern democratic state.

▪ a totalitarian state (=where there is no democracy)

Politicians get away with this sort of behaviour only in totalitarian states.

▪ a one-party state

Until recently, the country was a one-party state.

▪ a communist/socialist state

The former communist states began opening up their markets to foreign investment.

▪ a fascist state

Freedom of speech is not tolerated in a fascist state.

▪ a police state (=where the government strictly controls what people can say or do)

Too many laws bring us frighteningly close to the creation of a police state.

▪ a member state (=a country that belongs to an organization of countries)

The statement said that NATO would counter any attack against a member state.

II. state 2 S3 W2 BrE AmE verb [transitive]

[ Word Family: verb : ↑ state , ↑ understate ≠ ↑ overstate ; noun : ↑ statement , ↑ understatement ≠ ↑ overstatement ; adjective : ↑ understated ≠ OVERSTATED ]

1 . to formally say or write a piece of information or your opinion:

Please state your name and address.

Rembert again stated his intention to resign from Parliament.

The government needs to clearly state its policy on UN intervention.

state (that)

The witness stated that he had not seen the woman before.

Fine, but aren’t you just stating the obvious here?

2 . if a document, newspaper, ticket etc states information, it contains the information written clearly:

The price of the tickets is stated on the back.

• • •


■ to say something

▪ say to tell someone something, using words:

‘I really ought to go,’ she said.


Lauren said she’d probably be late.

▪ state to say something, especially in a definite or formal way – used in official contexts:

The witness stated that he had never seen the woman before.


Please state your name and address.

▪ announce to publicly tell people about something:

The chairman announced his resignation.


The results will be announced tomorrow.


We will announce the winners next Sunday.


They were announcing the train times over the loudspeaker system.

▪ declare to say something very firmly:

‘My personal life is none of your business,’ she declared.

▪ mention to talk about someone or something, especially without giving many details:

Did Tom mention anything about what happened at school?


Your name was mentioned!

▪ express to let someone know your feelings by putting them into words:

Young children often find it difficult to express their emotions.

▪ comment to say what your opinion is about someone or something:

The prime minister was asked to comment on the crisis.

▪ note/remark formal to say that you have noticed that something is true – used especially in formal writing:

We have already noted that most old people live alone.


Someone once remarked that the problem with computers is that they only give you answers.

▪ add to say something more, after what has already been said:

He added that he thought it could be done fairly cheaply.

▪ point out to mention something that seems particularly important or relevant:

Dr Graham points out that most children show some signs of abnormal behaviour.


It’s worth pointing out that few people actually die of this disease.

▪ air to talk about your opinions, worries, or the things you disagree about: air your views/grievances/differences :

The programme will give listeners the chance to air their views about immigration.


Workers were able to air their grievances.

▪ voice to talk publicly about your feelings or about whether you approve or disapprove of something formal : voice concern/support/doubt/fears etc :

The president has already voiced his support for the proposal.


She voiced concern for the safety of the hostages.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.