status quo

\ -ˈkwō \

Definition of status quo

: the existing state of affairs seeks to preserve the status quo

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Synonyms & Antonyms for status quo


normalcy, normality



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Examples of status quo in a Sentence

He is content with the status quo and does not like change. civic leaders who are afraid to do anything that might change the town's status quo

Recent Examples on the Web

That risk has caused legislators to largely shun efforts to upend the status quo. Andrew Ackerman, WSJ, "Lawmakers Promise Fresh Push to Overhaul Housing Finance," 24 Jan. 2019 More than two decades later, Witherspoon is still fighting the status quo. Zoë Ghertner, Vogue, "Reese Witherspoon: Activist, Advocate, Hollywood’s Moral Compass," 10 Jan. 2019 Discontent with the status quo and elite politics Low voter turnouts in both elections illustrated citizen disillusionment with the political process. Renad Mansour, Washington Post, "An emerging populism is sweeping the Middle East," 11 July 2018 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 29, wasn’t supposed to upend the status quo, but then beat out Joe Crowley (D–N.Y.), who hadn’t faced a primary challenger since 2004. Mattie Kahn, Glamour, "9 Times Being a Woman in 2018 Was Genuinely Powerful," 30 Oct. 2018 But the combination of rising interest rates and surging bond yields has upended the stock market’s status quo, several analysts said. Michael Wursthorn, WSJ, "U.S. Stocks Drop as Bond Yields Keep Climbing," 10 Oct. 2018 But a new court challenge, brought by Kebriaei and her colleagues at the Center for Constitution Rights, could upend the status quo and signal the largest shift in U.S. military detention policies in years. John Knefel, The New Republic, "A Last Hope for the “Forever Prisoners”," 28 Feb. 2018 President Trump has renewed interest in upending the world’s status quo. Thanassis Cambanis,, "Stop trying to fix everything," 16 Feb. 2018 If her first two days on the job are any indication, Ocasio-Cortez has only just begun shaking up the status quo. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Red Lipstick and Gold Hoops Were a Nod to Bronx Spirit—and Sonia Sotomayor—at Her Swearing In," 4 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'status quo.' 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 status quo

1719, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for status quo

Latin, state in which

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Statistics for status quo

Last Updated

7 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for status quo

The first known use of status quo was in 1719

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More Definitions for status quo

status quo


English Language Learners Definition of status quo

: the current situation : the way things are now

status quo

\ -ˈkwō \

Legal Definition of status quo

: the existing state of affairs specifically : the last actual and uncontested state of affairs that preceded a controversy and that is to be preserved by preliminary injunction — compare status quo ante

History and Etymology for status quo

Latin, state in which

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Comments on status quo

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


irregularly rounded

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