a sad state (of affairs)

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a sad state (of affairs)

A particularly unfortunate, unpleasant, or upsetting situation or set of circumstances. Their company has been in a sad state after Jonathan took over. It's a sad state of affairs when you can no longer be sure how you're going to feed your children each night.
See also: sad, state
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

sad state of affairs, a

An unhappy condition, unfortunate circumstances. The use of state of affairs to describe events or circumstances originated as the more ambiguous state of things, which was first recorded in 1555. Affairs began to be used about two centuries later. R. L. Green played on it in The Land of Lord High Tiger: “Sad affairs of State! Sad state of affairs! Affairs of a sad state.” It is sometimes put as sorry state of affairs.
See also: of, sad, state
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
"It's a sad state in this country where we hold ourselves to be so modern and progressive, yet won't let every man and woman have the same rights.