noun, often attributive
\ˈstāt \

Definition of state 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : mode or condition of being a state of readiness

b(1) : condition of mind or temperament in a highly nervous state

(2) : a condition of abnormal tension or excitement

2a : a condition or stage in the physical being of something insects in the larval state the gaseous state of water

b : any of various conditions characterized by definite quantities (as of energy, angular momentum, or magnetic moment) in which an atomic system may exist

3a : social position especially : high rank

b(1) : elaborate or luxurious style of living

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

4a : a body of persons constituting a special class in a society : estate sense 3

b states plural : the members or representatives of the governing classes assembled in a legislative body

c obsolete : a person of high rank (as a noble)

5a : a politically organized body of people usually occupying a definite territory especially : one that is sovereign

b : the political organization of such a body of people

c : a government or politically organized society having a particular character a police state the welfare state

6 : the operations or concerns of the government of a country

7a : one of the constituent units of a nation having a federal government the fifty states

b States plural : The United States of America

8 : the territory of a state


stated; stating

Definition of state (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to set by regulation or authority

2 : to express the particulars of especially in words : report broadly : to express in words

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Other Words from state


statable or stateable \ˈstā-​tə-​bəl \ adjective

Examples of state in a Sentence


Happiness is the state or condition of being happy. We must keep our armed forces in a constant state of readiness. She meditates to achieve a higher state of being. The building is in such a sorry state that it's hardly worth fixing. water in a gaseous state the solid and liquid states the member states of the United Nations Security Council


The lawyer will state the facts of the case. He stated his name in full. I was merely stating an opinion. “This is a difficult situation,” he stated simply. Please state the purpose of your visit. I'd like to state for the record that I disagree with the board's decision. For the reasons stated above, I hereby withdraw from the competition. The rules clearly state that you can only draw one card.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Mulvaney, a staunch conservative, certainly contrasts with a choice like Chris Christie, a blue-state governor who may have been better-suited to dealing with a new Democratic House of Representatives. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "Trump names Mick Mulvaney acting White House chief of staff," 15 Dec. 2018 With plenty of countries, states, cities, and companies pledging to go 100 percent renewable by 2050, the number of both solar panels and wind turbines is expected to skyrocket. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "We Might Not Have Enough Materials for All the Solar Panels and Wind Turbines We Need," 13 Dec. 2018 The states and their allies want push to stop further leasing and resume a sweeping review of the program’s environmental impacts. Matthew Brown, The Seattle Times, "States ask court to stop Trump from reviving US coal sales," 12 Dec. 2018 The store has locations in eight states, including New York and California. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Jenna Dewan Launches Her Danskin Capsule Collection In Stores," 7 Dec. 2018 The deal will bring at least 25,000 jobs to New York City, and Amazon could receive up to $3 billion in city and state tax incentives and grants. Katie Honan, WSJ, "New York City Council to Host Hearings on Amazon’s Headquarters Deal," 30 Nov. 2018 Journalists in Kashmir have worked under tremendous stress and have been targeted in the past, some fatally, by both the Indian state and militant groups. Shah Abbas, The Seattle Times, "Pakistani accused in journalist’s death killed in Kashmir," 28 Nov. 2018 Cities and states are hooked on incentives, spending tens of billions of dollars on them every year. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Amazon HQ2 subsidies are deeply unpopular, but far from uncommon," 14 Nov. 2018 After deciding to focus on her solo projects and moving back to her home state of California, Young was ready to let go and try something new. Devon Abelman, Allure, "How Beauty Keeps Tiffany Young True to Her K-Pop Roots," 9 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Here’s what Cohen says now: Discussions about the Trump Tower Moscow project went on at least until June 2016 — not January of that year as Cohen previously stated. Alex Ward, Vox, "Why Michael Cohen’s Trump Tower Moscow revelation matters, in under 500 words," 30 Nov. 2018 Greg Shoemaker died in the fire, not Mark Shoemaker as previously stated in the 10th paragraph. Wendy Culverwell, The Seattle Times, "Arsonist Martin Pang skips name-change hearing, avoids sister of firefighter killed in Seattle blaze," 18 Nov. 2018 Correction: Sekou Cooke is a professor at Syracuse University, not Cornell, as a previous edition stated. Diana Budds, Curbed, "Can hip-hop make architecture more equitable?," 8 Oct. 2018 Because money is never just about money, as Tessler states on her website. Chloé Braithwaite, SELF, "5 Questions With a Financial Therapist," 21 Sep. 2018 The original version incorrectly stated that all three rear fins are actuated. Mike Wall,, "SpaceX Will Fly a Japanese Billionaire (and Artists, Too!) Around the Moon in 2023," 17 Sep. 2018 Yet despite the billionaire backers quaffing champagne at the Hong Kong IPO, the company’s name remains virtually unknown in the U.S.–a major obstacle to Lei’s stated ambition to create a Jobsian company that impacts the world. Charlie Cambell/beijing, Time, "Lei Jun Wants to Be China’s Answer to Steve Jobs. But Trump’s Trade War Is Getting In His Way," 12 July 2018 Wright posted online prostitution advertisements for the girls and provided her phone number to arrange meetings between the girls and customers, the release states. Lavendrick Smith, charlotteobserver, "A Charlotte couple forced girls into prostitution to raise bond money, officials say," 11 July 2018 An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated Denver had the highest reliability score, Orlando had the highest convenience score and Phoenix had the second-best value score. Scott Mccartney, WSJ, "The Best of the Biggest U.S. Airports," 14 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'state.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of state


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1647, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for state


Middle English stat, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French estat, from Latin status, from stare to stand — more at stand

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Statistics for state

Last Updated

18 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for state

The first known use of state was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for state



English Language Learners Definition of state

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a way of living or existing

: the overall physical condition of something : the ability of something to be used, enjoyed, etc.

: the things that affect the way you think or feel : your physical or mental condition



English Language Learners Definition of state (Entry 2 of 2)

: to express (something) formally in speech or writing

: to give (specific information, instructions, rules, etc.) in writing


\ˈstāt \

Kids Definition of state

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : manner or condition of being Steam is water in the gaseous state. … the health inspector was rather picky about the state of the cafeteria …— Pam Zollman, Don't Bug Me!

2 : a body of people living in a certain territory under one government : the government of such a body of people

3 : one of the divisions of a nation having a federal government the United States of America


stated; stating

Kids Definition of state (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to express especially in words I'm just stating my opinion.

2 : to set by rule, law, or authority The rules of the contest are stated below.


\ˈstāt \

Medical Definition of state 

: mode or condition of being: as

a : condition of mind or temperament a manic state

b : a condition or stage in the physical being of something the gaseous state of water

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noun, often attributive

Legal Definition of state 

1a : a politically organized body of people usually occupying a definite territory especially : one that is sovereign

b : the political organization that has supreme civil authority and political power and serves as the basis of government — see also compelling state interest at interest sense 3a, separation of church and state

c : a government or politically organized society having a particular character a police state

2 : the operations or concerns of the government of a country : the sphere of administration and supreme political power of a country (as in international relations) secrets of state affairs of state

3a : one of the constituent units of a nation having a federal government specifically : one of the fifty such units comprising the great part of the U.S. — see also state law

b : the territory of a state

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More from Merriam-Webster on state

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with state

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for state

Spanish Central: Translation of state

Nglish: Translation of state for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of state for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about state

Comments on state

What made you want to look up state? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


having a pattern of small flowers

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