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As a noun, a people permanently occupying a fixed territory bound together by common habits and custom into one body politic exercising, through the medium of an organized government, independent sovereignty and control over all persons and things within its boundaries, capable of making war and peace and of entering into international relations with other states. The section of territory occupied by one of the United States. The people of a state, in their collective capacity, considered as the party wronged by a criminal deed; the public; as in the title of a case, "The State v. A. B." The circumstances or condition of a being or thing at a given time.

As a verb, to express the particulars of a thing in writing or in words; to set down or set forth in detail; to aver, allege, or declare. To set down in gross; to mention in general terms, or by way of reference; to refer.


n. 1) the Federal or state government and any of its departments, agencies or components (such as a city, county, or board). 2) any of the 50 states comprising the United States. 3) a nation's government.


(Condition), noun appearance, aspect, class, complexion, disposition, grade, mien, mood, plight, position, posture, predicament, shape, situation, standing, station, status, way
Associated concepts: state of mind


(Political unit), noun body politic, civil commuuity, civitas, commonwealth, governmental unit, mandated territory, nation, political division, polity, sovereign unit
Associated concepts: state's evidence, state's rights
Foreign phrases: Privilegium non valet contra rempubliiam.A privilege is of no avail against the state.
See also: acknowledge, adduce, allege, annunciate, aspect, assert, avouch, avow, caliber, case, claim, comment, communicate, contend, converse, convey, declare, disabuse, disclose, enunciate, exposit, express, inform, interject, issue, maintain, mention, notify, observe, period, phase, phrase, plead, plight, polity, pose, posit, position, posture, predicament, proclaim, profess, pronounce, propound, public, publish, purport, quagmire, quality, recite, recount, relate, remark, remind, report, signify, situation, speak, status, stipulate, swear, tell, testify, utter, verify

STATE, government. This word is used in various senses. In its most enlarged sense, it signifies a self-sufficient body of persons united together in one community for the defence of their rights, and to do right and justice to foreigners. In this sense, the state means the whole people united into one body politic; (q.v.) and the state, and the people of the state, are equivalent expressions. 1 Pet. Cond. Rep. 37 to 39; 3 Dall. 93; 2 Dall. 425; 2 Wilson's Lect. 120; Dane's Appx. Sec. 50, p. 63 1 Story, Const. Sec. 361. In a more limited sense, the word `state' expresses merely the positive or actual organization of the legislative, or judicial powers; thus the actual government of the state is designated by the name of the state; hence the expression, the state has passed such a law, or prohibited such an act. State also means the section of territory occupied by a state, as the state of Pennsylvania.
     2. By the word state is also meant, more particularly, one of the commonwealths which form the United States of America. The constitution of the United States makes the following provisions in relation to the states.
     3. Art. 1, s. 9, Sec. 5. No tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from any state. No preference shall be given by any regulation of commerce or revenue to the ports of one state over those of another, nor shall vessels bound to or from one state be obliged to enter, clear, or pay duties in another.
     4.-Sec. 6. No money shall be drawn from the treasury but in consequence of appropriations made by law; and a regular statement and account of the receipts and expenditures of all public money shall be published from time to time.
     5.-Sec. 7. No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States, and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them shall, without the consent of congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title of any kind whatever, from, any king, prince, or foreign state.
     6.-Art. 1, s. 10, Sec. 1. No state shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation; grant letters of marque and reprisal; coin money; emit bills of credit; make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payments of debts; pass any bill of attainder, ex-post-facto, or law impairing the obligation of contracts; or grant any title of nobility.
     7.-Sec. 2. No state shall, without the consent of congress, lay any imposts or duties on imports or exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing its inspection laws; and the net produce of all duties and imposts laid by any state on imports or exports shall be for the use of the treasury of the United States, and all such laws shall be subject to the revision and control of congress. No state, shall, without the consent of congress, lay any duty on tonnage, keep troops or ships of war in time of peace, enter into any agreement or compact with another state, or with a foreign power, or engage in war, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent danger as will not admit of delay.
     8. The district of Columbia and the territorial districts of the United States, are not states within the meaning of the constitution and of the judiciary act, so as to enable a citizen thereof to sue a citizen of one of the states in the federal courts. 2 Cranch, 445; 1 Wheat. 91.
     9. The several states composing the United States are sovereign and independent, in all things not surrendered to the national government by the constitution, and are considered, on general principles, by each other as foreign states, yet their mutual relations are rather those of domestic independence, than of foreign alienation. 7 Cranch, 481; 3 Wheat. 324; 1 Greenl. Ev. Sec. 489, 504. Vide, generally, Mr. Madison's report in the legislature of Virginia, January, 1800; 1 Story's Com. on Const. Sec. 208; 1 Kent, Com. 189, note b; Grotius, B. 1, c. 1, s. 14; Id. B. 3, c. 3, s. 2; Burlamaqui, vol. 2, pt. 1, c. 4, s. 9; Vattel, B. 1, c. 1; 1 Toull. n. 202, note 1 Nation; Cicer. de Repub. 1. 1, s. 25.

STATE, condition of persons. This word has various acceptations. If we inquire into its origin, it will be found to come from the Latin status, which is derived from the verb stare, sto, whence has been made statio, which signifies the place where a person is located, stat, to fulfill the obligations which are imposed upon him.
     2. State is that quality which belongs to a person in society, and which secures to, and imposes upon him different rights and duties in consequence of the difference of that quality.
     3. Although all men come from the hands of nature upon an equality, yet there are among them marked differences. It is from nature that come the distinctions of the sexes, fathers and children, of age and youth, &c.
     4. The civil or municipal laws of each people, have added to these natural qualities, distinctions which are purely civil and arbitrary, founded on the manners of the people, or in the will of the legislature. Such are the differences, which these laws have established between citizens and aliens, between magistrates and subjects, and between freemen and slaves; and those which exist in some countries between nobles and plebeians, which differences are either unknown or contrary to natural law.
     5. Although these latter distinctions are more particularly subject to the civil or municipal law, because to it they owe their origin, it nevertheless extends its authority over the natural qualities, not to destroy or to weaken them, but to confirm them and to render them more inviolable by positive rules and by certain maxims. This union of the civil or municipal and natural law, form among men a third species of differences which may be called mixed, because they participate of both, and derive their principles from nature and the perfection of the law; for example, infancy or the privileges which belong to it, have their foundation in natural law; but the age and the term of these prerogatives are determined by the civil or municipal law.
     6. Three sorts of different qualities which form the state or condition of men may then be distinguished: those which are purely natural, those purely civil, and those which are composed of the natural and civil or municipal law. Vide 3 Bl. Com. 396; 1 Toull. n. 170, 171; Civil State.

TO STATE. To make known specifically; to explain particularly; as, to state an account, or to show the different items of an account; to state the cause of action in a declaration.

References in classic literature ?
I did not indulge in any illusions as to the nature of the country people, nor as to the hindrances that lie in the way of every attempt to bring about a better state of things among men or their surroundings.
And it is curious to note that from the slaves themselves they received, not merely very little assistance, but hardly any sympathy even; and when at the close of the war the slaves found themselves free, found themselves indeed so absolutely free that they were free to starve, many of them bitterly regretted the new state of things.
This reflection appeared to have great weight with the young lady in the bar, who (adjusting her cap as she spoke, and glancing at a mirror) declared that it would be a very pretty state of things indeed; and that if people were to be punished for actions so innocent and natural as that, there would be more people to be knocked down than there would be people to knock them down, and that she wondered what the gentleman meant by it, that she did.
My heart fell down amongst my lungs and livers and things, and a hard piece of corn-crust started down my throat after it and got met on the road with a cough, and was shot across the table, and took one of the children in the eye and curled him up like a fishing-worm, and let a cry out of him the size of a warwhoop, and Tom he turned kinder blue around the gills, and it all amounted to a considerable state of things for about a quarter of a minute or as much as that, and I would a sold out for half price if there was a bidder.
And the creation of health is the institution of a natural order and government of one by another in the parts of the body; and the creation of disease is the production of a state of things at variance with this natural order?
A nice state of things it would be if people were allowed to do as they liked with other peoples' property.
Some of the small boys of Number 4 communicated the new state of things to their chums, and in several other rooms the poor little fellows tried it on--in one instance or so, where the prepostor heard of it and interfered very decidedly, with partial success; but in the rest, after a short struggle, the confessors were bullied or laughed down, and the old state of things went on for some time longer.
It was little enough to look back on; but when he remembered to what the young men of his generation and his set had looked forward--the narrow groove of money-making, sport and society to which their vision had been limited--even his small contribution to the new state of things seemed to count, as each brick counts in a well-built wall.
Chailey was expected to sit in a cabin which was large enough, but too near the boilers, so that after five minutes she could hear her heart "go," she complained, putting her hand above it, which was a state of things that Mrs.
Lisbeth had been unusually silent since she came downstairs, apparently requiring some time to adjust her ideas to a state of things in which she came down like a lady to find all the work done, and sat still to be waited on.
How do you suppose he liked the state of things that has given the world so much pleasure?
At length, everything was ready, and they went off very fast; Kit's mother carrying the baby, who was dreadfully wide awake, and Kit holding little Jacob in one hand, and escorting Barbara with the other--a state of things which occasioned the two mothers, who walked behind, to declare that they looked quite family folks, and caused Barbara to blush and say, 'Now don't, mother