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[Latin, mode or condition of being, from stare to stand]
1 a : the condition of a person or a thing in the eyes of the law
b : position or rank in relation to others
2 : a state of affairs [the of the negotiations]
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.