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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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
*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.
in fluxand 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.
pretty state of affairsand 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
in a state
see under in a lather.
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.
lie in state
see under in 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).
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.
in a latherINFORMAL
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.
state of the artor
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.
the state of playBRITISH
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?
turn state's evidence
To give such testimony in court.