—n. 1. the condition of a person or thing, as with respect to circumstances or attributes: a state of health. 2. the condition of matter with respect to structure, form, constitution, phase, or the like: water in a gaseous state. 3. status, rank, or position in life; station: He dresses in a manner befitting his state. 4. the style of living befitting a person of wealth and high rank: to travel in state. 5. a particular condition of mind or feeling: to be in an excited state. 6. an abnormally tense, nervous, or perturbed condition: He's been in a state since hearing about his brother's death. 7. a politically unified people occupying a definite territory; nation.
8. the territory, or one of the territories, of a government.
9. (sometimes cap.) any of the bodies politic which together make up a federal union, as in the United States of America.
10. the body politic as organized for civil rule and government (distinguished from church).
11. the operations or activities of a central civil government: affairs of state. 12. (cap.) Also called State Department.Informal.the Department of State.
13. Print.a set of copies of an edition of a publication which differ from others of the same printing because of additions, corrections, or transpositions made during printing or at any time before publication.
14. lie in state, (of a corpse) to be exhibited publicly with honors before burial: The president's body lay in state for two days. 15. the States,Informal.the United States (usually used outside its borders): After a year's study in Spain, he returned to the States.
—adj. 1. of or pertaining to the central civil government or authority.
2. made, maintained, or chartered by or under the authority of one of the commonwealths that make up a federal union: a state highway; a state bank. 3. characterized by, attended with, or involving ceremony: a state dinner. 4. used on or reserved for occasions of ceremony.
—v.t. 1. to declare definitely or specifically: She stated her position on the case. 2. to set forth formally in speech or writing: to state a hypothesis. 3. to set forth in proper or definite form: to state a problem. 4. to say.
5. to fix or settle, as by authority.