Secretary of state
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 given time. [1913 Webster]

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. Hamilton. [1913 Webster]

Declare the past and present state of things. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

Keep the state of the question in your eye. --Boyle. [1913 Webster]

2. Rank; condition; quality; as, the state of honor. [1913 Webster]

Thy honor, state, and seat is due to me. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

3. Condition of prosperity or grandeur; wealthy or prosperous circumstances; social importance. [1913 Webster]

She instructed him how he should keep state, and yet with a modest sense of his misfortunes. --Bacon. [1913 Webster]

Can this imperious lord forget to reign, Quit all his state, descend, and serve again? --Pope. [1913 Webster]

4. Appearance of grandeur or dignity; pomp. [1913 Webster]

Where least of state there most of love is shown. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

5. A chair with a canopy above it, often standing on a dais; a seat of dignity; also, the canopy itself. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

His high throne, . . . under state Of richest texture spread. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

When he went to court, he used to kick away the state, and sit down by his prince cheek by jowl. --Swift. [1913 Webster]

6. Estate; possession. [Obs.] --Daniel. [1913 Webster]

Your state, my lord, again is yours. --Massinger. [1913 Webster]

7. A person of high rank. [Obs.] --Latimer. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

9. The principal persons in a government. [1913 Webster]

The bold design Pleased highly those infernal states. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

10. The bodies that constitute the legislature of a country; as, the States-general of Holland. [1913 Webster]

11. A form of government which is not monarchial, as a republic. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

Well monarchies may own religion's name, But states are atheists in their very fame. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

Municipal law is a rule of conduct prescribed by the supreme power in a state. --Blackstone. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

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 expressly inhibited. [1913 Webster]

Note: The term State, in its technical sense, is used in distinction from the federal system, i. e., the government of the United States. [1913 Webster]

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. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

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 Iowa. [1913 Webster]

{Nascent state}. (Chem.) See under {Nascent}.

{Secretary of state}. See {Secretary}, n., 3.

{State barge}a royal barge, or a barge belonging to a government.

{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 political offense.

{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 government. [U.S.]

{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}. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

I do not, brother, Infer as if I thought my sister's state Secure without all doubt or controversy. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

We hoped to enjoy with ease what, in our situation, might be called the luxuries of life. --Cook. [1913 Webster]

And, O, what man's condition can be worse Than his whom plenty starves and blessings curse? --Cowley. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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