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English definition of “state”

state

noun     /steɪt/
[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.
→ See also corporate state, welfare state
(Definition of state noun from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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