state

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a fine state of affairs

A situation that has gone wrong and is very problematic. The term is an instance of irony or sarcasm. Well, this is a fine state of affairs we're in now. The client doesn't like the job we've done, and they want it fixed in less than a week.
See also: affair, fine, of, state

blue state

In US general elections, a state that votes by majority for candidates of the Democratic Party. Primarily heard in US, South Africa. This is a firmly entrenched blue state, so Republican campaigners don't waste a whole lot of time or money trying to persuade us.
See also: blue, state

green state

1. An American state where the Green Party of the US is favored or carries influence. Primarily heard in US. In this green state, Democrats and Republicans have to battle more fiercely than ever for a majority of votes.
2. A state that is or is perceived to be environmentally friendly. Primarily heard in US. While campaigning in the green states, the presidential hopeful highlighted his plans for a decreased dependence on oil and coal.
3. A country or sovereign state in which environmental concerns dictate policy or are of the utmost importance. Environmentalists are hopeful that that the country might emerge as a green state and lead the rest of the world in environmental agendas.
See also: green, state

in a sorry state

In a pitiful or abject condition. My business was in a sorry state after I left it under the control of my brother. John's been in a sorry state lately—I think he's taken up drinking again.
See also: sorry, 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 state

With great pageantry and ceremonial splendor. The royal couple is traveling in state across the country, with great fanfare expected at each of their destinations.
See also: state

purple state

In U.S. general elections, a state that votes in roughly equal proportion for candidates of both the Democratic and Republican Parties. Primarily heard in US. Whoever is going to win the election will have to focus their power on swinging the purple states of the country in their favor.
See also: purple, state

red state

In U.S. general elections, a state that votes by majority for candidates belonging to the Republican Party. This is a firmly entrenched red state, so Democratic campaigners don't waste a whole lot of time or money trying to persuade us to vote for them.
See also: red, state

be in a sorry state

To be in a very poor, pitiful, dysfunctional, or sad state or condition. I guarantee that the company will be in a sorry state in no time if my no-account brother is put in charge. Their house has been in a sorry state ever since Dan's wife passed away.
See also: sorry, state

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

swing state

In U.S. general elections, a state that votes in roughly equal proportion for candidates of both the Democratic and Republican Parties and whose influence on the election has the power to determine the outcome.. With the country so deeply divided between these two candidates, it will come down to just a handful of swing states to determine who will be the next president.
See also: state, swing

yellow state

A US state strongly influenced by the Libertarian Party. This will never be a yellow state—the Libertarians are just not as entrenched here as the Democrats and Republicans.
See also: state, yellow

a sad state (of affairs)

A particularly unfortunate, unpleasant, and/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

state of affairs

A current situation or set of conditions. It's been a sad state of affairs around here since our grandma got sick. I'd like to start this meeting by going over the company's financial state of affairs.
See also: affair, of, state

the state of play

The current situation or circumstances. What's the state of play here? Someone give me an update. Before going in, you should know that the state of play in the facility is quite poor.
See also: of, play, state

*in a lather

Fig. flustered; excited and agitated. (*Typically: be ~; get [into] ~.) Now, calm down. Don't be in a lather. I always get in a lather when I'm late. I get into a lather easily.
See also: lather

in flux

 and in a (constant) state of flux
in constant change; ever-changing. I can't describe my job because it's in a constant state afflux. The price of gold is influx.

lie in state

[for a dead body] to be on display for public mourning. The president will lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda. Mourners filed past the leader where he lay in state.
See also: lie, state

pretty state of affairs

 and fine state of affairs
an unpleasant state of affairs. This is a pretty state of affairs, and it's all your fault. What a fine state of affairs you've got us into.
See also: affair, of, pretty, state

send someone into a state or condition

to cause someone to be in a certain state or condition. The horrifying news sent our family into hysterics. The clerk's rude behavior sent the customer into a fit of anger.
See also: condition, send, state

state of mind

basic attitude or outlook at a point in time. she was in a terrible state of mind when she was interviewed for a job.
See also: mind, of, state

state of the art

using the most recent technology. (Hyphenated before nouns.) Our company's computer setup is strictly state of the art. This state-of-the-art radio is capable of filling the whole room with sound.
See also: art, of, state

whip someone into a state

Fig. to excite, arouse, or foment someone into some state. (Based on whip someone into doing something.) The governor's speech whipped the audience into a frenzy. The angry cries from the audience whipped the speaker into a rage.
See also: state, whip

in a lather

Also, in a state. Agitated and anxious, as in Don't get yourself in a lather over this, or She was in a state over the flight cancellation. The first term alludes to the frothy sweat of a horse, the second to an upset state of mind. [Early 1800s] For a synonym, see in a stew.
See also: lather

in a state

see under in a lather.
See also: state

in state

With pomp and ceremony, as in The foreign leaders were dining in state at the White House. This expression, dating from the late 1600s, also appears in lie in state, said of a dead body ceremoniously exposed to public view before being interred. This latter usage, dating from about 1700, is generally confined to important public figures, as in His Majesty lay in state in the palace.
See also: state

lie in state

see under in state.
See also: lie, state

ship of state

The nation, as in We can't help but wonder who will be steering our ship of state a hundred years from now . This metaphoric expression was first recorded in English in a translation of Niccolò Machiavelli's The Prince (1675).
See also: of, ship, state

state of the art

The highest level of development, very up-to-date, as in This new television set reflects the state of the art in screen technology. Despite including the word art, this term originated in technology, and its first recorded use appears in a 1910 book on the gas turbine. Today it is often used adjectivally, as in This is a state-of-the-art camera, and sometimes very loosely, as in That movie is state-of-the-art Woody Allen.
See also: art, of, state

in a lather

INFORMAL
If someone is in a lather, they are very angry, worried or upset about something. `Brenda!' she shouted, in a great lather. `It's happened again!' Note: You can also say that someone gets into a lather or works themselves up into a lather. What's she getting into a lather about now? You have spent the past six months worrying and working yourself up into a lather over situations which are really none of your business. Note: When horses get very hot, the sweat on their coats sometimes forms a foamy substance called lather.
See also: lather

state of the art

or

state-of-the-art

COMMON Something that is state of the art or state-of-the-art has the most modern and advanced features and technology. The new apartments would be state of the art. We've now installed our own state-of-the-art cameras.
See also: art, of, state

the state of play

BRITISH
COMMON The state of play is the current situation. It's probably not a great time to open up a shop, given the economic state of play. So what's the state of play on that project?
See also: of, play, state

turn state's evidence

To give such testimony in court.
See also: evidence, turn
References in periodicals archive ?
His letter to colleagues may ring eerily familiar to those who attend today's quarterly meetings of the NMC, stating that the "increase in the number of state departments, each established under different laws and adopting different forms, rules, and regulations, has naturally tended rapidly to increase the labors and consequent expenses of insurance companies.
Blaine's amendment was put on a fast track and altered in committee to include language stating, "no such particular creed or tenets shall be taught" in any tax-supported school.
However, the appellate court found the trial court's decision that Ivy's consent to search was voluntary to be clearly erroneous and suppressed the evidence found during the course of the unlawful search, stating that:
This occurs when there is a rule or other public proclamation specifically stating that Internet access would be subject to tax.
Recognizing that funds are clearly available to SUNY, the statute takes the unique approach of naming the landlord and stating that no appropriation shall be available to this particular landlord.
A diplomat named Tobias Lear negotiated a peace treaty; the new document did not contain the exact anti-"Christian nation" language of Barlow's treaty, although it did contain an article stating that the United States has no established church.
He said the Bulletin should properly be viewed not as making law but merely stating what the law is.
A number of these states, including Iowa and Connecticut, have issued bulletins stating their statutes have been rendered unenforceable as a result of Quill, but they will increase enforcement efforts against the ultimate consumers, both businesses and individuals, for payment of the use tax.
The Federation of Tax Administrators (FTA) has itself acknowledged these policy concerns with contingency fee audits, stating that most business taxpayers and State administrators agree that such arrangements "are not healthy for the tax system.