a sorry state (of affairs)

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a sorry state (of affairs)

A particularly unfortunate, unpleasant, and/or upsetting situation or set of circumstances. Their company has been in a sorry state ever since Jonathan took over. It's a sorry state of affairs when you can no longer be sure how you'll feed your children each night.
See also: sorry, state
References in classic literature ?
Yet I will not conceal from you the fact that my debts are crushing me down, and that my wardrobe is in a sorry state.