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

Her name can be found on maps today: Lake Sacajawea, in Washington state, and Lake Sakakawea, in North Dakota, are named after her. Ruth Hopkins, Teen Vogue, "Sacagawea Changed the Course of History and Deserves Respect," 11 Jan. 2019 The good news, however, is that this means that Avrame kits are now available in all 50 states. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Affordable A-frame house can be built by just two people," 11 Jan. 2019 Simply put, capitalism is a social and economic system where a country's means of production, trade, and industry is controlled by private companies and owners, as opposed to the state. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "What is Capitalism?," 7 Jan. 2019 Her victory flipped the open seat of retiring Republican senator Jeff Flake, making her the state's first Democratic senator since 1988, NPR reported. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Senator Kyrsten Sinema Brought Some Major Lewks to Congress," 4 Jan. 2019 There's no shortage of trails listed in every state, plus Canada, South America, Central America, and Europe. Alexa Tucker, SELF, "25 Best Workout and Fitness Apps to Stay Healthy in 2019," 1 Jan. 2019 The Maine Technology Institute has awarded $50,000 for a feasibility study of a small-satellite launch site in the state, and the Maine Space Grant Consortium has committed more than $88,000, according to an AP report. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Rocket Report: Rokot ending, more spaceports, back-to-back Falcon Heavies," 21 Dec. 2018 Jenna gave the second reading at George H.W. Bush's state funeral on Wednesday, reading from Revelation 21:1-4 and 23-25. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Meet the 14 People Who Called George H.W. Bush Grandfather," 6 Dec. 2018 Most states require the general contractor to be licensed, bonded, and insured. Brett Martin, House Beautiful, "See The Definitions Of Common Renovation Terms," 26 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

This contradicts earlier estimates which stated each of Game of Thrones' stars receive approximately $500,000 per episode. Eileen Reslen, Harper's BAZAAR, "Nikolaj Coster-Waldau Made More Than $1 Million Per Episode for Game of Thrones' Final Season," 6 Sep. 2018 According to reports, the royal family operates with a strange custody agreement when its couples have their own children, which states that, actually, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has full legal custody over the young royals. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "When Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Have Children, This Strange Royal Rule Will Make Things Complicated," 21 Aug. 2018 The American Cancer Society, however, has stated that the causes of most cases of non-Hodgkin lymphoma are unknown. Yvette D'entremont, SELF, "Should You Worry About Herbicides In Your Food?," 10 Oct. 2018 The company had previously stated that the lander would be capable of toting 66 lbs. Mike Wall,, "Japanese Startup ispace to Launch Moon Lander Missions on SpaceX Rockets," 26 Sep. 2018 Vermes has publicly stated his desire to add a center forward since the end of the 2017 season. Sam Mcdowell, kansascity, "As transfer window opens, Sporting KC sets sights on striker," 11 July 2018 An internal legislative memo leaked to media outlets states that a female lawmaker and three legislative staffers allege Hill drunkenly groped them during a March party in Indianapolis. Rick Callahan, Post-Tribune, "Special prosecutor to aid groping investigation of Indiana attorney general," 11 July 2018 Alex Azar, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, has stated that somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 of those children were separated from their parents at the border. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Report: Team Trump Planning on Surge in Detention of Immigrant Minors," 10 July 2018 To state the obvious: Christians were found among both the abolitionists and the secessionists, the segregationists and the Freedom Riders. Ezra Klein, Vox, "The political tribalism of Andrew Sullivan," 11 Dec. 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

16 Jan 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 \

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).


tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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