American English

Definition of state noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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    condition of someone or something
  1. 1[countable] the mental, emotional, or physical condition that a person or thing is in a confused state of mind He was in a state of permanent depression. A report condemned the state of prisoners' cells. anxieties about the state of the country's economy The building is in a bad state of repair (= needs to be repaired). She was in a state of shock. Which Word?condition / stateThe following adjectives are frequently used with these nouns:
    ~ condition~ state
    State is a more general word than condition and is used for the condition that something is in at a particular time. It is used to describe a person's mental health more than their physical health. It can be used without an adjective:the present state of medical knowledge We’re worried about his mental state. What a state this room is in (= very bad). Condition is used with an adjective and refers especially to the appearance, quality, or working order of someone or something. It is used to describe a person's physical health more than their mental health:The car is in excellent condition. The patient is in a critical condition.
  2. part of country
  3. 2[countable] (abbreviation St.) an organized political community forming part of a country the states of Wyoming and North Dakota the southern states of the U.S.
  4. country
  5. 3State [countable] a country considered as an organized political community controlled by one government the Baltic states European Union member states see also city state, nation state, police state, welfare state Which Word?country / state Country is the most usual, neutral word for a geographical area that has or used to have its own central government. State usually refers to one of the 50 states of the U.S.:the state of Alabama State can also emphasize the political organization of an area under an independent government. It can also mean the government:the member states of the EU The state provides free education. heads of state (= leaders of various nations)
  6. government
  7. 4the state [uncountable, singular] the government of a country matters/affairs of state people who are financially dependent on the state a state-owned company They wish to limit the power of the state.
  8. official ceremony
  9. 5[uncountable] the formal ceremonies connected with high levels of government or with kings and queens The president was driven in state through the streets.
  10. the U.S.
  11. 6the States [plural] (informal) the United States of America I've never been to the States.
  12. Idioms
      be in/get into a state (informal)
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    1. 1to be/become excited or anxious She was in quite a state before her final exams. He got into a terrible state over his finances.
    2. 2to be dirty or messy What a state this place is in!
    in a state of grace
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    (in the Roman Catholic Church) having been forgiven by God for the wrong or evil things you have done He died in a state of grace.
    a state of affairs
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    a situation, usually a bad one This state of affairs can no longer be ignored. Thesaurussituationcircumstances position conditions things the case state of affairsThese are all words for the conditions and facts that are connected with and affect the way things are.situation all the things that are happening at a particular time and in a particular place:the current economic situationcircumstances the facts that are connected with and affect a situation, an event, or an action; the conditions of a person's life, especially the money they have:The ship sank in mysterious circumstances.position the situation that someone is in, especially when it affects what they can and cannot do:She knew that she was in a position of power.conditions the circumstances in which people live, work, or do things; the physical situation that affects how something happens:We were forced to work outside in freezing conditions.circumstances or conditions?Circumstances often refers to someone's financial situation;conditions are things such as the quality and amount of food or shelter they have. The circumstances that affect an event are the facts surrounding it; the conditions that affect it are usually physical ones, such as the weather.things (somewhat informal) the general situation, as it affects someone:Hi, Jane! How are things? Think things over before you decide.the case the true situation:If that is the case (= if the situation described is true), we need more staff.state of affairs a situation:Well, this is certainly a sorry state of affairs.situation or state of affairs?State of affairs is mostly used with this. It is also used with adjectives describing how good or bad a situation is, such as happy, sorry, shocking, and sad, as well as those relating to time, such as present and current. Situation is much more frequent and is used in a wider variety of contexts.Patterns in (a) particular situation/circumstances/position/state of affairs the/somebody's economic/financial/social situation/circumstances/position/conditions (a/an) happy/fortunate/unfortunate/sad situation/circumstances/position/state of affairs to look at/review the situation/circumstances/conditions/things
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: state