Meaning of “state” in the English Dictionary

"state" in British English

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statenoun

uk /steɪt/ us /steɪt/

state noun (CONDITION)

B2 [ C ] a condition or way of being that exists at a particular time:

The building was in a state of disrepair.
She was found wandering in a confused state (of mind).
Give me the keys - you're not in a state to drive.
After the accident I was in a state of shock.
I came home to an unhappy state of affairs (= situation).
The kitchen was in its original state, with a 1920s sink and stove.
the state of play UK

the present situation:

The article provides a useful summary of the current state of play in the negotiations.

More examples

  • Exercise can make a big difference to your state of health.
  • The old railway cottages were in a state of dereliction.
  • The whole office was in a state of disorder.
  • Over the years the church has fallen into a state of neglect.
  • I was in a state of shock for about two weeks after the accident.

state noun (COUNTRY)

C1 [ C or U ] a country or its government:

The drought is worst in the central African states.
Britain is one of the member states of the European Union.
The government was determined to reduce the number of state-owned industries.
Some theatres receive a small amount of funding from the state.

B1 [ C ] a part of a large country with its own government, such as in Germany, Australia, or the US:

Alaska is the largest state in the US
Representatives are elected from each state.
the States informal

used to refer to the US

in state

If a king, queen, or government leader does something in state, they do it in a formal way as part of an official ceremony:

The Queen rode in state to the opening of Parliament.

More examples

  • All attempts at diplomacy have broken down and the two states now appear to be on a collision course.
  • Abortion is restricted in some American states.
  • The United States is a federation of 50 individual states.
  • Representatives of the member states will be meeting next week.
  • The creation of independent states has led to a resurgence of nationalism.

stateverb [ T ]

uk /steɪt/ us /steɪt/ formal

B2 to say or write something, especially clearly and carefully:

Our warranty clearly states the limits of our liability.
[ + (that) ] Union members stated (that) they were unhappy with the proposal.
[ + question word ] Please state why you wish to apply for this grant.
Children in the stated (= named) areas were at risk from a lack of food, the report said.

More examples

  • He stated firmly that no concessions will be made to the strikers.
  • The rebel leaders stated that they are willing to enter into dialogue with the government.
  • The police stated that some 50 rounds had been discharged.
  • The assessor stated that the fire damage was not as severe as the hotel's owner had claimed.
  • All recipes in this book, unless otherwise stated, will serve four to five people.

stateadjective [ before noun ]

uk /steɪt/ us /steɪt/

B2 provided, created, or done by the state (= government of a country):

state control

State events are formal official ceremonies that involve a leader of a country or someone who represents the government:

the state opening of Parliament
a state funeral

More examples

  • He's a strong advocate of state ownership of the railways.
  • They received state funding for the project.
  • I'm not interested in state handouts - all I want is a job.
  • The governor has denied making improper use of state money.
  • The police couldn't arrest him because he'd fled across the state line.

(Definition of “state” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"state" in American English

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statenoun [ C ]

us /steɪt/

state noun [ C ] (WAY OF BEING)

a condition or way of being:

The stable was preserved in its original state.
Your room is in a terrible state.
It's a sad state of affairs (= a bad situation) when our rivers are so endangered.

state noun [ C ] (PLACE)

politics & government one of the political units that some countries, such as the US, are divided into:

New York State
the State of Arizona

politics & government A state is also a country or its government:

the member states of the United Nations
the States US history

The States is another way of referring to the United States:

When will you be visiting the States?

stateverb [ T ]

us /steɪt/

state verb [ T ] (EXPRESS)

to express information clearly and carefully:

His will states the property is to be sold.
Please state your preference.

stateadjective [ not gradable ]

us /steɪt/

state adjective [ not gradable ] (PLACE)

provided, created, or done by the state:

state police

politics & government State also refers to formal or official government activities:

a state dinner

(Definition of “state” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"state" in Business English

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statenoun

uk /steɪt/ us

[ C, usually singular ] the condition that someone or something is in at a particular time:

The offices were in a state of disrepair.
The index for capital goods production is a key indicator of the state of the economy.
They commented on the poor state of the company's finances.
Some economists are predicting that public finances will return to a healthy state within five years.
They are paid a stable, fair price, regardless of the current state of the market.
state of affairs

a situation:

Poor decisions by the board bear most of the responsibility for this sorry state of affairs.
the state of play UK

the present situation:

The meeting reviewed the state of play in each market.

[ C ] also State GOVERNMENT a country with its own government:

the West African State of Ghana
The legislation requires the agreement of every one of the EU's member states.
In December 1991, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was broken up into fifteen independent states.

[ C ] also State GOVERNMENT a part of a large country such as Australia, Germany, or the US that has its own government:

The German federal states have a large degree of autonomy.
the northern/southern/eastern/western states of the US
The company operates hospitals in 12 states, including Texas and California.
The Navajo reservation stretches from Arizona into two neighbouring states.

[ U or S ] also the state, also the State GOVERNMENT the government of a country:

funded/provided/run by the state
affairs/matters of state
The government was determined to reduce the number of state-owned industries.
They hope to reduce dependence on the state by paying benefits only to those whose income falls below a new, higher tax threshold.
the States [ plural ] informal

used to refer to the United States of America:

If they wish to work in the States again, they must show proof of employment with a US-based employer.

stateverb [ T ]

uk /steɪt/ us

to say or write something, especially when it is done clearly and carefully:

Our warranty clearly states the limits of our liability.
state that The rules state that the directors are required by law to prepare financial statements for each financial period.
Make your claim in writing, stating your full name and address.
state a fact/opinion I wasn't criticizing the way you run the department; I was merely stating facts.

[ usually passive ] to give or agree the details of something:

a stated commitment/goal The central bank's stated goal is to keep the inflation rate between 1 and 3%.
A fund with a 50% turnover has bought and sold half of the value of its total investment portfolio during the stated period.

stateadjective [ before noun ]

also State uk /steɪt/ us GOVERNMENT

provided, owned, or done by the government of a country:

state companies/enterprises/monopolies The main ports are owned by state economic enterprises.
state education/a state school
state subsidies

relating to a particular state of a country, especially the US:

(Definition of “state” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)