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state Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun the territory occupied by one of the constituent administrative districts of a nation
    • his state is in the deep south
  2. noun the way something is with respect to its main attributes
    • the current state of knowledge
    • his state of health
    • in a weak financial state
  3. noun the group of people comprising the government of a sovereign state
    • the state has lowered its income tax
  4. noun a politically organized body of people under a single government
    commonwealth; land; res publica; country; nation; body politic.
    • the state has elected a new president
    • African nations
    • students who had come to the nation's capitol
    • the country's largest manufacturer
    • an industrialized land
  5. noun (chemistry) the three traditional states of matter are solids (fixed shape and volume) and liquids (fixed volume and shaped by the container) and gases (filling the container)
    state of matter.
    • the solid state of water is called ice
  6. noun a state of depression or agitation
    • he was in such a state you just couldn't reason with him
  7. noun the territory occupied by a nation
    country; land.
    • he returned to the land of his birth
    • he visited several European countries
  8. noun the federal department in the United States that sets and maintains foreign policies
    DoS; United States Department of State; State Department; Department of State.
    • the Department of State was created in 1789
  9. verb express in words
    say; tell.
    • He said that he wanted to marry her
    • tell me what is bothering you
    • state your opinion
    • state your name
  10. verb put before
    posit; put forward; submit.
    • I submit to you that the accused is guilty
  11. verb indicate through a symbol, formula, etc.
    • Can you express this distance in kilometers?

State noun
OE. stat, OF. estat, F. état, fr. L. status a standing, position, fr. stare, statum, to stand. See Stand, and cf. Estate, Status.
  1. The circumstances or condition of a being or thing at any given time.
    State is a term nearly synonymous with "mode," but of a meaning more extensive, and is not exclusively limited to the mutable and contingent. Sir W. Hamilton.
    Declare the past and present state of things. Dryden.
    Keep the state of the question in your eye. Boyle.
  2. Rank; condition; quality; as, the state of honor.
    Thy honor, state, and seat is due to me. Shak.
  3. Condition of prosperity or grandeur; wealthy or prosperous circumstances; social importance.
    She instructed him how he should keep state, and yet with a modest sense of his misfortunes. Bacon.
    Can this imperious lord forget to reign, Quit all his state, descend, and serve again? Pope.
  4. Appearance of grandeur or dignity; pomp.
    Where least og state there most of love is shown. Dryden.
  5. A chair with a canopy above it, often standing on a dais; a seat of dignity; also, the canopy itself. Obs.
    His high throne, . . . under state Of richest texture spread. Milton.
    When he went to court, he used to kick away the state, and sit down by his prince cheek by jowl. Swift.
  6. Estate, possession. Obs. Daniel.
    Your state, my lord, again in yours. Massinger.
  7. A person of high rank. Obs. Latimer.
  8. Any body of men united by profession, or constituting a community of a particular character; as, the civil and ecclesiastical states, or the lords spiritual and temporal and the commons, in Great Britain. Cf. Estate, n., 6.
  9. The principal persons in a government.
    The bold design Pleased highly those infernal states. Milton.
  10. The bodies that constitute the legislature of a country; as, the States-general of Holland.
  11. A form of government which is not monarchial, as a republic. Obs.
    Well monarchies may own religion's name, But states are atheists in their very fame. Dryden.
  12. A political body, or body politic; the whole body of people who are united one government, whatever may be the form of the government; a nation.
    Municipal law is a rule of conduct prescribed by the supreme power in a state. Blackstone.
    The Puritans in the reign of Mary, driven from their homes, sought an asylum in Geneva, where they found a state without a king, and a church without a bishop. R. Choate.
  13. In the United States, one of the commonwealth, or bodies politic, the people of which make up the body of the nation, and which, under the national constitution, stands in certain specified relations with the national government, and are invested, as commonwealth, with full power in their several spheres over all matters not expressly inhibited. ✍ The term State, in its technical sense, is used in distinction from the federal system, i. e., the government of the United States.
  14. Highest and stationary condition, as that of maturity between growth and decline, or as that of crisis between the increase and the abating of a disease; height; acme. Obs. ✍ When state is joined with another word, or used adjectively, it denotes public, or what belongs to the community or body politic, or to the government; also, what belongs to the States severally in the American Union; as, state affairs; state policy; State laws of Iowa. Syn. -- State, Situation, Condition. State is the generic term, and denotes in general the mode in which a thing stands or exists. The situation of a thing is its state in reference to external objects and influences; its condition is its internal state, or what it is in itself considered. Our situation is good or bad as outward things bear favorably or unfavorably upon us; our condition is good or bad according to the state we are actually in as respects our persons, families, property, and other things which comprise our sources of enjoyment.
    I do not, brother, Infer as if I thought my sister's state Secure without all doubt or controversy. Milton.
    We hoped to enjoy with ease what, in our situation, might be called the luxuries of life. Cock.
    And, O, what man's condition can be worse Than his whom plenty starves and blessings curse? Cowley.
State adjective
  1. Stately. Obs. Spenser.
  2. Belonging to the state, or body politic; public.
State transitive verb
imperfect & past participle Stated; present participle & verbal noun Stating
  1. To set; to settle; to establish. R.
    I myself, though meanest stated, And in court now almost hated. Wither.
    Who calls the council, states the certain day. Pope.
  2. To express the particulars of; to set down in detail or in gross; to represent fully in words; to narrate; to recite; as, to state the facts of a case, one's opinion, etc.
State noun
  1. A statement; also, a document containing a statement. R. Sir W. Scott.

Webster 1913