Meaning of STATE in English

I. ˈstāt, usu -ād.+V noun

( -s )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle English stat, from Old French & Latin; Old French estat, from Latin status, from status, past participle of stare to stand — more at stand


a. : a mode or condition of being : position , nature

this mortal state

our present state of knowledge

the state of his health

financial state

the unsanitary state of the building

a state of readiness

the married state


(1) : a condition of mind or temperament

a state of consciousness

in a highly nervous state

(2) : a condition of abnormal tension or excitement (as from anger or fear)

little things piled up on him and he got into a state

c. archaic : the highest stage of development : acme , crisis — usually used of a disease

d. : a condition or form of a noun — compare absolute state , construct state , emphatic state


a. : a condition or stage in the physical constitution of something : state of aggregation

the solid and liquid states

water in the vaporous state

the best state of a metal for the purpose

b. : one of an indeterminate number of conditions in which an atomic system may exist that is characterized by definite quantities (as of energy, angular momentum, or magnetic moment) and separated from other conditions by finite differences in these quantities

c. : the physical condition of something at one stage in a process: as

(1) : a stage of an engraved plate that is distinguished from another stage by a greater or less amount of work on the plate

(2) : an impression from the plate in such a stage

(3) : a condition of the unfired clay in ceramics

green state

raw state

(4) : a variant (as in type setting or makeup) of an impression or issue of a book

(5) : a stage in the growth or development of a plant or animal

buttercups in the green state

the larval state


a. : social position : rank , station

all luxuries befitting the state of a marquis — Charles Dickens

especially : high rank : eminence

can this imperious lord … quit all his state , descend, and serve again — Alexander Pope


(1) : elaborate or luxurious style or mode of living : magnificence

has a wealthy lover and keeps a considerable state — Arnold Bennett

(2) : formal dignity : pomp — usually used with in

rode in state to her coronation

in solemn state … admitted to the fraternity — R.W.Southern

lie in state

c. : graceful dignity (as in bearing)

keep some state in thy exit and vanish — Shakespeare

perfect in shapeliness and state — A.C.Swinburne


(1) obsolete : a chair with a canopy and often on a dais : throne

this chair shall be my state — Shakespeare

(2) archaic : canopy


a. : a body of persons constituting a special class in a society : estate , order

a division of governmental power between the several states … in the community — C.J.Friedrich

b. states plural : the members or representatives of the governing classes assembled in a parliament or diet (as in France before the Revolution, Scotland before the Union, and the United Netherlands) : estate 3b

c. obsolete

(1) : a person of high rank (as a noble)

the bold design pleased highly those infernal states — John Milton

(2) : the ruling persons (as in a country or town) : council

consult with the king and state — Francis Bacon

d. : the ruling body or government of a country


a. : a body of people permanently occupying a definite territory and politically organized under a sovereign government almost entirely free from external control and possessing coercive power to maintain order within the community : body politic , commonwealth 2, nation 1b

for Aristotle the state was an association of men for the sake of the best moral life

b. : the political organization that has supreme civil authority and political power and serves as the basis of government

the institutions of Church and state

c. : a particular form of government or politically organized society

the secular state

the fascist state

the welfare state

d. : the embodiment of the ethical idea and the moral will of the community in Hegelian philosophy

e. : a colony of social animals (as ants or bees) with organization analogous to that of a human state

6. : the operations, activities, or affairs of the government or ruling power of a country : the sphere of administration and supreme political power of a government

matters of state

secrets of state

ministers of state

Department of state

7. often capitalized : one of the bodies politic or component units in a federal system that is more or less independent and sovereign over internal affairs but forms with the other units a sovereign nation

the United States of America

the Indian states

the states of Switzerland are called cantons


a. : a territory governed by a particular nation

b. : a territorial unit in which the general body of law is separate and distinct from the law of any other territorial unit

9. obsolete : property , estate 4c


a. archaic : statement , account

b. Britain : a periodic report of troop numbers and condition

delivered a state of the troops


condition , mode , situation , posture , status : state , often interchangeable with condition , may but does not always imply genuinely existent characteristics likely to be significant and enduring and discovered or announced after some analysis

shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the Union — U.S. Constitution

wharves, piers and docks at the Atlantic ports were brought to what was a high state of efficiency for those days — A.F.Harlow

in a state of some excitement, talking eagerly in a rather loud voice — J.D.Beresford

condition may more strongly imply the influence of circumstances on the way of existing, especially of only temporary circumstances

his mental condition

in a delicate condition

previous condition of servitude

better working conditions

the house is still in good condition

certain weather conditions

by no means relieved of his anxiety and fully aware of the excited condition of English opinion he could only await the issue — W.C.Ford

mode stresses external manifestation and suggests nothing of the concern with underlying reality that may be implicated by state

the whole burden of her middle period is the attempt to reach a spiritual equilibrium through a formal mode of religious conversion — M.D.Geismar

situation , implying a being placed or located much more than a being formed or composed, may apply to any specific set of circumstances, perhaps individual or interesting

the situation in fiction — the desperate girl appealing out of her misery to the Christian priest for help — Rose Macaulay

he has already won for himself a personal situation unparalleled in postwar France, and with it a fighting chance to lead his country — Frank Gorrell

a play upon a situation in which a surgeon is called upon to save the life of the lover of his wife — A.H.Quinn

posture , in this sense often a close synonym for situation , may imply the shaping influence of personal inclination or decision

the type of balance between military and civilian production which will permit us to maintain both a strong economy and a strong military posture — H.S.Truman

showing me in a posture of comically servile deference to authority — F.R.Leavis

status may indicate one's state or condition as determined with some definiteness for legal administration or economic or social considerations

new status of proprietor — Mary Austin

the change in the status of the Negro, under the Thirteenth Amendment, from three fifths of a person to a whole person in computing state apportionment — Carol L. Thompson

a married woman's status was determined entirely by that of her husband — F.A.Ogg & P.O.Ray

big business has elevated the function of management to the status of the learned professions — Nation's Business

my underprivileged status as an ex-convict — Frank O'Leary

- in a state of nature

II. transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )


a. archaic : to fix or settle in a position, rank, or condition : place

b. obsolete : to confer possession on : vest a person in

c. : to set by or as if by regulation or authority

meetings are held at stated times


a. : to express the particulars of : set forth : recite , report

state the facts of a case

state the problem in full

state the account in dollars

b. : to put into words : frame , phrase

state the resolution as it is now to be voted upon


(1) : assert , declare

authorities … state that a young man in good condition can cover up to a hundred miles a day — Richard Joseph

(2) : announce

the opening measures of the first movement where the horns state the first theme — Winthrop Sargeant

3. obsolete : to live in pomp or luxury — used with it

began to state it … as high as ever before — Thomas Fuller

Synonyms: see relate

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.