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

Synonyms & Antonyms for state

Synonyms: Noun

commonwealth, country, land, nation, sovereignty (also sovranty)

Synonyms: Verb

air, expound, express, give, look, raise, sound, vent, ventilate, voice

Antonyms: Verb

stifle, suppress

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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

For the upcoming fiscal year, the $2.4 million the sheriff needs will be taken out of state and county reserve funds, according to Gioia. Otis R. Taylor Jr.,, "Honduran woman deported from Contra Costa jail is glad to hear ICE is getting booted," 12 July 2018 Massachusetts and many other states and cities disagreed, and sued. Emily Atkin, The New Republic, "How the New Supreme Court Could Halt Climate Action," 12 July 2018 In Tampa, the Section 8/Southeast Florida champion will join seven other Little League Baseball sectional winners from throughout the state in a pool-play format competition. Rick Menning,, "Plantation, Coconut Creek All-Stars win Little League sectional semifinal games," 14 July 2018 In February of 2018, The National PTA chose a theme for the 2019-20 contest from entries received from each state. Elaine Rooker Jack, The Courier-Journal, "24 local students receive awards in PTA contests unique to Kentucky," 13 July 2018 The Valley’s well-drilling frenzy has abated as overall water conditions in the state have improved. Dale Kasler And Phillip Reese, sacbee, "The Valley floor is sinking, and it’s crippling California’s ability to deliver water," 13 July 2018 He was ranked the No. 1 outside linebacker in Kentucky and the second-best overall prospect in the state by Scout. Gabe Hauari, The Courier-Journal, "WKU linebacker Eli Brown granted immediate eligibility for 2018 season," 13 July 2018 Iowa’s Department of Public Health said Thursday 15 people in that state reported getting sick with cyclospora infections after eating McDonald’s salads between late June and early July. Jesse Newman, WSJ, "McDonald’s Pulls Salads From 3,000 Restaurants Amid Cyclospora Illnesses," 13 July 2018 On Thursday, rather than panicking, Xie said most of the campers were in a state of disbelief about what had happened. Felicia Fonseca And Alina Hartounian,, "Flash flood sends tourists to high ground near Grand Canyon," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Peterson prefaces her statement on benefits of hemp by stating the FDA hasn't agreed with these statements and studies haven't completely been derived from it. Karen Pilarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Six things you might be asking about hemp," 13 July 2018 The injury was revealed in an MRI scan taken Wednesday, the team stated. Gary Bedore, kansascity, "Devonté Graham suffers injury to right knee, according to report from NBA’s Hornets," 11 July 2018 Interestingly, the league's competition committee unanimously overturned that ruling this past spring by stating that Bryant did make the catch. Peter Dawson, star-telegram, "How did President Trump's latest Supreme Court nominee rule on the Dez Bryant 'catch'?," 10 July 2018 There's no written formal rule stating women in the royal family are banned from crossing their legs while sitting. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Crossed Her Legs at a Royal Function—But Other Royals Have Done It Before," 27 June 2018 The most recent callers are stating that telemarketers are seeking $125 to $2,000 in exchange for a license plate frame, officials said. Jim Newton, Lake County News-Sun, "Crackdown on Chain O' Lakes yields impaired boating arrests, citations," 8 July 2018 The current library, built in 1975, has 21,000 square feet, half the 42,000 square feet that state library guidelines say is the minimum requirement for a community of 42,000 people, such as Southington. Bill Leukhardt, Courant Community, "Southington Hires New Library Director From Coventry," 3 July 2018 Greenhouse gas emissions vary considerably across the region, the plan stated. Susan Demar Lafferty, Daily Southtown, "CMAP plan draws variety of comments," 14 July 2018 Martin has been honored with the distinction of Super Lawyer in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 consecutively, the release stated. Staff Reports, Houston Chronicle, "Business Briefs for the Week of July 13-20," 13 July 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

6 Nov 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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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).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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