The fourth estate
Estate Es*tate" ([e^]s*t[=a]t"), n. [OF. estat, F. ['e]tat, L. status, fr. stare to stand. See {Stand}, and cf. {State}.] 1. Settled condition or form of existence; state; condition or circumstances of life or of any person; situation. ``When I came to man's estate.'' --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. --Romans xii. 16. [1913 Webster]

2. Social standing or rank; quality; dignity. [1913 Webster]

God hath imprinted his authority in several parts, upon several estates of men. --Jer. Taylor. [1913 Webster]

3. A person of high rank. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

She's a duchess, a great estate. --Latimer. [1913 Webster]

Herod on his birthday made a supper to his lords, high captains, and chief estates of Galilee. --Mark vi. 21. [1913 Webster]

4. A property which a person possesses; a fortune; possessions, esp. property in land; also, property of all kinds which a person leaves to be divided at his death. [1913 Webster]

See what a vast estate he left his son. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

5. The state; the general body politic; the common-wealth; the general interest; state affairs. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

I call matters of estate not only the parts of sovereignty, but whatsoever . . . concerneth manifestly any great portion of people. --Bacon. [1913 Webster]

6. pl. The great classes or orders of a community or state (as the clergy, the nobility, and the commonalty of England) or their representatives who administer the government; as, the estates of the realm (England), which are (1) the lords spiritual, (2) the lords temporal, (3) the commons. [1913 Webster]

7. (Law) The degree, quality, nature, and extent of one's interest in, or ownership of, lands, tenements, etc.; as, an estate for life, for years, at will, etc. --Abbott. [1913 Webster]

{The fourth estate}, a name often given to the public press. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • fourth estate — fourth es tate n the fourth estate newspapers, news magazines, television and radio news, the people who work for them, and the political influence that they have = ↑press …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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