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

The company may have new solid-state battery technology that may debut alongside the vehicle in 2020 or 2021. Drew Dorian, Car and Driver, "Dyson's Long-Awaited Electric Vehicle Revealed in Design Patent Filing," 9 May 2019 Trader Joe's is recalling cantaloupe slices sold only in stores in the following states: Iowa, Illinois, Indianan, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Sophia Caraballo, Woman's Day, "Trader Joe's Is Recalling It's Cantaloupe Slices Due to Possible Salmonella Outbreak," 17 Apr. 2019 Once her two younger sons, Princes Andrew and Edward, arrived a decade later, on February 19, 1960 and March 10, 1964 respectively, the Queen was well-established in her role as head of state. Victoria Murphy, Town & Country, "How Will Meghan Markle's Maternity Leave Compare with Queen Elizabeth's?," 14 Apr. 2019 O'Rourke's victory, which became a very real possibility, could’ve created a huge break in Republican control of the state of Texas — that's part of why O’Rourke’s campaign generated so much attention. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Beto O'Rourke's Thirst-Trap Politics Won't Work on Me in the 2020 Democratic Primary," 9 Apr. 2019 That decline includes both a decrease in the number of protective cells overall and the speed of the immune response itself, the National Institutes of Health state. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Here's Why It's Taking Whoopi Goldberg Weeks to Recover From Pneumonia, According to Doctors," 8 Mar. 2019 The authorities regularly try people accused of such charges behind closed doors on the presumption that opening them to the public might expose state secrets — a practice activists say is a thin excuse for a failure to provide solid evidence. Dake Kang, The Seattle Times, "Prominent Chinese human rights lawyer sentenced to 4½ years," 28 Jan. 2019 The stunning beauty and spiritual life of the architecture and glass suddenly came to life and left me in a state of wonderment. Monique Valeris, ELLE Decor, "Top Designers on What Notre-Dame Means to Them," 17 Apr. 2019 The country opened its market to French beef products following Macron’s January 2018 state visit to China. Sylvie Corbet, The Seattle Times, "China’s Xi sees honors, Airbus deal in state visit to France," 26 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

While human error and irresponsibility are to be expected, Tesla explicitly states on its website that Autopilot should only be operated when the driver is fully attentive and ready to take over control at any time. Eric Stafford, Car and Driver, "Elon Musk Tweets Tacit Approval of Porn Video Shot in Tesla Model X on Autopilot," 10 May 2019 Officer Rodriguez responded by stating that Mr. Elsharkawi had an attitude, was obviously racist, and had a problem with the uniform of CBP officers. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Man sues feds after being detained for refusing to unlock his phone at airport," 18 Dec. 2018 Herein lies a step-by-step guide to looking great on Instagram: Acknowledge the Awkwardness Let’s start by stating the obvious: posing for a photo is AWKWARD AF. Elizabeth Holmes, Marie Claire, "What Do I Do With My Hands In Photos? And Other Important Questions, Answered," 12 Dec. 2018 Lawmakers tried to slice the Gordian knot of the trolley problem by stating that all human life should be valued equally and that any distinction based on personal features like age or gender should be prohibited. James Vincent, The Verge, "Global preferences for who to save in self-driving car crashes revealed," 24 Oct. 2018 In response to this, the OEHHA proposed a regulation last June stating that coffee consumption does not pose a significant cancer risk. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Kylie Jenner's Favorite Brand Fashion Nova Cautions That Their Swimsuits May Cause Cancer," 30 Apr. 2019 The 38-year-old is currently a Senior Director at Branding Latin America, a brand-positioning platform that specializes in the region, her engagement announcement stated. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Who Is Lady Gabriella Windsor? Everything You Need to Know About Her and Her Royal Wedding," 26 Apr. 2019 On several recent occasions, the Mets have stated a desire to get younger and more athletic. James Wagner, New York Times, "Syndergaard Returns for Five Innings in Mets’ Win Over Nationals," 13 July 2018 Variety reported Grande was paid $8 million, while older reports stated that Beyoncé would earn about $4 million. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Actually, Ariana Grande and Beyoncé Were Probably Paid About the Same for Coachella," 19 Apr. 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

22 May 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).


one that collects or salvages junk

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