The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
State \State\ (st[=a]t), n. [OE. stat, OF. estat, F. ['e]tat,
fr. L. status a standing, position, fr. stare, statum, to
stand. See Stand, and cf. Estate, Status.]
1. The circumstances or condition of a being or thing at any
State is a term nearly synonymous with "mode," but
of a meaning more extensive, and is not exclusively
limited to the mutable and contingent. --Sir W.
Declare the past and present state of things.
Keep the state of the question in your eye. --Boyle.
2. Rank; condition; quality; as, the state of honor.
Thy honor, state, and seat is due to me. --Shak.
3. Condition of prosperity or grandeur; wealthy or prosperous
circumstances; social importance.
She instructed him how he should keep state, and yet
with a modest sense of his misfortunes. --Bacon.
Can this imperious lord forget to reign,
Quit all his state, descend, and serve again?
4. Appearance of grandeur or dignity; pomp.
Where least of state there most of love is shown.
5. A chair with a canopy above it, often standing on a dais;
a seat of dignity; also, the canopy itself. [Obs.]
His high throne, . . . under state
Of richest texture spread. --Milton.
When he went to court, he used to kick away the
state, and sit down by his prince cheek by jowl.
6. Estate; possession. [Obs.] --Daniel.
Your state, my lord, again is yours. --Massinger.
7. A person of high rank. [Obs.] --Latimer.
8. Any body of men united by profession, or constituting a
community of a particular character; as, the civil and
ecclesiastical states, or the lords spiritual and temporal
and the commons, in Great Britain. Cf. Estate, n., 6.
9. The principal persons in a government.
The bold design
Pleased highly those infernal states. --Milton.
10. The bodies that constitute the legislature of a country;
as, the States-general of Holland.
11. A form of government which is not monarchial, as a
Well monarchies may own religion's name,
But states are atheists in their very fame.
12. A political body, or body politic; the whole body of
people who are united under one government, whatever may
be the form of the government; a nation.
Municipal law is a rule of conduct prescribed by
the supreme power in a state. --Blackstone.
The Puritans in the reign of Mary, driven from
their homes, sought an asylum in Geneva, where they
found a state without a king, and a church without
a bishop. --R. Choate.
13. In the United States, one of the commonwealths, or bodies
politic, the people of which make up the body of the
nation, and which, under the national constitution, stand
in certain specified relations with the national
government, and are invested, as commonwealths, with full
power in their several spheres over all matters not
Note: The term State, in its technical sense, is used in
distinction from the federal system, i. e., the
government of the United States.
14. Highest and stationary condition, as that of maturity
between growth and decline, or as that of crisis between
the increase and the abating of a disease; height; acme.
Note: When state is joined with another word, or used
adjectively, it denotes public, or what belongs to the
community or body politic, or to the government; also,
what belongs to the States severally in the American
Union; as, state affairs; state policy; State laws of
Nascent state. (Chem.) See under Nascent.
Secretary of state. See Secretary, n., 3.
State bargea royal barge, or a barge belonging to a
State bed, an elaborately carved or decorated bed.
State carriage, a highly decorated carriage for officials
going in state, or taking part in public processions.
State paper, an official paper relating to the interests or
government of a state. --Jay.
State prison, a public prison or penitentiary; -- called
also State's prison.
State prisoner, one in confinement, or under arrest, for a
State rights, or States' rights, the rights of the
several independent States, as distinguished from the
rights of the Federal government. It has been a question
as to what rights have been vested in the general
State's evidence. See Probator, 2, and under Evidence.
State sword, a sword used on state occasions, being borne
before a sovereign by an attendant of high rank.
State trial, a trial of a person for a political offense.
States of the Church. See under Ecclesiastical.
Syn: State, Situation, Condition.
Usage: State is the generic term, and denotes in general the
mode in which a thing stands or exists. The situation
of a thing is its state in reference to external
objects and influences; its condition is its internal
state, or what it is in itself considered. Our
situation is good or bad as outward things bear
favorably or unfavorably upon us; our condition is
good or bad according to the state we are actually in
as respects our persons, families, property, and other
things which comprise our sources of enjoyment.
I do not, brother,
Infer as if I thought my sister's state
Secure without all doubt or controversy.
We hoped to enjoy with ease what, in our
situation, might be called the luxuries of life.
And, O, what man's condition can be worse
Than his whom plenty starves and blessings