noun, often attributive
\ ˈstāt How to pronounce state (audio) \

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 How to pronounce stateable (audio) \ 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

That someone was Lucy Flores, a Democrat who served in the Nevada state assembly from 2010-2014. Katie Halper, Teen Vogue, "Lucy Flores: Biden's Unwanted Touching Should be Part of #MeToo Conversations," 6 Apr. 2019 Directly across from the hotel, a state-of-the-art wellness center is on track to open later this year with a mediation room, yoga and movement studio, as well as a range of alternative therapies from chakra balancing to sound healing. Nora Walsh, Vogue, "Eco Idyll: Las Catalinas, the Car-Free Costa Rica Town, Welcomes a New Hotel," 4 Apr. 2019 Those machines tend to come loaded with native solid-state storage that don’t need Optane Memory’s benefits. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "Intel's Optane Memory finally supports Celeron and Pentium budget PCs that need the most boost," 1 Apr. 2019 Prince William and Kate Middleton's 2011 nuptials were an official state event, which made planning personal touches into the big day difficult for the couple. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "The Queen Secretly Encouraged Will and Kate to Break This Royal Protocol for Their Wedding," 31 Mar. 2019 Every state in the country now has installed photovoltaic solar to some degree. Umair Irfan, Vox, "4 maps that show who’s being left behind in America’s wind-power boom," 28 Mar. 2019 On March 18, according to Russian state media, a B-52H was sighted by Russian air defense forces in the Baltic Sea. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "U.S. Bombers Are Flying Over Europe, Baiting the Russian Bear," 21 Mar. 2019 For its foray into the states, the Brazilian brand will be available to shop online at Shopbop, Anthropologie, and Farm Rio's site. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "This Brazilian Brand Is About to Become Every Fashion Girl’s Favorite," 19 Mar. 2019 With eight states holding primaries today, the most important contests are in California, where the top two vote-getters—regardless of party—will advance to the general election. Allure, "The 15 Best Face Washes for Oily Skin," 19 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

One of the pervading GoT theories states Jon Snow is the Prince Who Was Promise, that is, a reborn Azor Ahai, who was a legendary hero forced to sacrifice his wife, Nissa Nissa, by plunging a sword through her heart to unleash its true power. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Game of Thrones Season 8: 18 Fan Theories to Know," 18 Mar. 2019 For instance, the complaint states that Loughlin wrote Singer in late 2017 after her daughters’ high school counselor inquired whether their college applications had misleading information about them being athletes. Tyler Kingkade, Town & Country, "How the College Admissions Scandal Is Different From the Other Ways Rich Parents Help Their Kids Get Into School," 13 Mar. 2019 The report states that legal cannabis sales in North America reached $9.2 billion in 2017, and are projected to generate $47.3 billion over the next decade. Aditi Shrikant, Vox, "Could legalizing weed help improve US transportation?," 7 Dec. 2018 For example, the reusable rocket-spaceship duo will be taller than previously stated — 387 feet (118 meters), compared with the 348 feet (106 m) that Musk cited during his September 2017 overview of the vehicle. Mike Wall,, "SpaceX Will Fly a Japanese Billionaire (and Artists, Too!) Around the Moon in 2023," 17 Sep. 2018 Even a recent report that the end of a data collection scheme could effectively end the program doesn’t represent an official — and officially stated — end to Google’s China ambitions. Dieter Bohn, The Verge, "The Verge 2018 tech report card: Google," 26 Dec. 2018 Bayern have already stated their intent to activate the purchase option and make Rodriguez theirs on a permanent basis, but the Colombian's ambitions appear to have changed now that Julen Lopetegui has replaced Zidane in the Bernabeu hotseat., "James Rodriguez Favours Real Madrid Return Following Zinedine Zidane Departure," 13 July 2018 The World Health Organization resolution stated that breast milk is the healthiest choice for babies and encouraged countries to crack down on misleading claims from purveyors of formula. Rebecca Beitsch, The Christian Science Monitor, "All US states now allow breastfeeding in public," 13 July 2018 Corrections & Amplifications A previous version of this story stated that China Merchants Port Holdings has taken full control of operations at the Doraleh Container Terminal. Costas Paris, WSJ, "China Tightens Grip on East African Port," 21 Feb. 2019

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

10 Apr 2019

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 How to pronounce state (audio) \

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 How to pronounce state (audio) \

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).


not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

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