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1 a : a politically organized body of people usually occupying a definite territory
: one that is sovereign
b : the political organization that has supreme civil authority and political power and serves as the basis of government see also compelling state interest at interest, separation of church and state
c : a government or politically organized society having a particular character [a police ]
2 : the operations or concerns of the government of a country
: the sphere of administration and supreme political power of a country (as in international relations) [secrets of ] [affairs of ]
3 a : one of the constituent units of a nation having a federal government
: one of the fifty such units comprising the great part of the U.S. see also state law
b : the territory of a state
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.