Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word


 - definitions and thesaurus

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun state pronunciation in British English /steɪt/
Word Forms
  1. 1
    [countable] [usually singular] the condition of something at a particular time
    the state of:

    We’re collecting data on the state of the environment.

    a state of:

    The country is drifting into a state of chaos.

    a sorry state (=a very bad condition):

    The British transport system is in a bit of a sorry state.

    1. b.
      [singular] the physical or mental condition of someone at a particular time, usually when this is bad in some way

      A friend found the girl in the street in a distressed state.

      state of:

      The impact seemed to startle him into a state of panic.

      in an awful/dreadful/terrible state:

      By the time he got home, he was in a terrible state.

  2. 3
    [uncountable] the government of a country

    Should the state play a bigger role in industry?

    The ruling banned the state-run news media from promoting political candidates.

    See also head of state



… a teaching method in which groups of children learn independently using a computer linked to the internet

BuzzWord Article

Word of the Day


a fight

Open Dictionary


a derogatory word used for referring to people in the banking and investment industry who are thought of as taking serious risks in order to increase their own earnings …

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog