in a state

in a state

1. Agitated, anxious, or upset. Tommy's been in a state ever since we took his video games away from him.
2. Chaotic or unruly; disheveled; very messy or untidy. I'd invite you in for a cup of tea, but the house is in a state at the moment. My hair was in a state when I woke up this morning, and I haven't been able to do anything with it all day!
See also: state

in a state

see under in a lather.
See also: state
References in classic literature ?
The mixed constitution is practicable in a state where the middle class is strong, as only the middle class can mediate between the rich and the poor.
If this remark be just, it becomes useful to inquire whether so many JUST causes of war are likely to be given by UNITED AMERICA as by DISUNITED America; for if it should turn out that United America will probably give the fewest, then it will follow that in this respect the Union tends most to preserve the people in a state of peace with other nations.
Because, even if the governing party in a State should be disposed to resist such temptations, yet as such temptations may, and commonly do, result from circumstances peculiar to the State, and may affect a great number of the inhabitants, the governing party may not always be able, if willing, to prevent the injustice meditated, or to punish the aggressors.
Thus Stallbaum, who is dissatisfied with the ordinary explanations of the argument of the Republic, imagines himself to have found the true argument "in the representation of human life in a State perfected by justice and governed according to the idea of good.
Above all things, good policy is to be used, that the treasure and moneys, in a state, be not gathered into few hands.
Wesleyan, for example, would often consider applicants with SAT scores of 1200 or lower if they had other attributes that the institution was seeking--such as mastery of an instrument in short supply (like the tuba or bassoon), residency in a state with low representation on campus (Nebraska), or identification with a minority group.