State, condition, mode, situation, posture, status can all mean the way in which a person or thing manifests his or its existence or the circumstances under which he or it exists or by which he or it is given a definite character.
State may be used so generally that it denotes merely a form of existence which has little or no relation to material being (as in space or time or as substance) but is purely immaterial and typically mental or spiritual.
The term may also be used specifically to name the combination of circumstances affecting a person or thing at a given time or the sum of the relations, qualities, or characteristics involved in his or its existence at the time under consideration.
Condition is interchangeable with state only when the effect or influence of present circumstances on actual or concrete existence is implied. It regularly carries a stronger implication than state of a relation to the causes or circumstances which produced or are producing the effect and a weaker suggestion of the duration of that effect; also, condition may be used in the plural in the sense of combination of circumstances and of qualities or characteristics, as state may not.
This suggestion of a relation to an external cause or causes is often so strong that the word frequently denotes a circumstance that serves as a causative influence or prerequisite rather than a combination of circumstances that form a state of being, (see under CONDITION 1 )
Mode (see also METHOD ) ( FASHION 2 ) is basically a philosophical term; typically it implies an opposition to the underlying reality which can be known only from its external manifestations (as color, form, and texture), and it usually applies to the combination of characters by which substance is manifested in a particular individual or instance.
In somewhat less restricted use the term can apply to something that expresses or exemplifies a typical form or value of a larger class; thus, the mathematical mode is the most frequent value in a statistical array; the mode of a rock is its specific mineral composition as distinguished from the norm of its kind.
Situation applies to a state or condition that represents a combination of definite concrete circumstances, often such a conjunction of particular circumstances that the whole has a peculiarly interesting character; more than state or condition, situation implies an arrangement of these circumstances not only with reference to each other but also with respect to the character or circumstances of the persons involved so as to make for a particular resulting condition (as of difficulty or advantage, embarrassment or elation, or uncertainty or security).
The term is also applied to a comparably striking and interesting combination of events in a narrative, especially one whose outcome involves uncertainty or suspense.
Posture (see also POSTURE 1 ) may be used in the sense of condition when that represents a state into which one is forced by need of preparation for something to come.
The term is often a closer synonym of situation than of condition .
Status may indicate an individual’s state or condition as determined with some definiteness for legal administrative purposes or by social or economic considerations.
Sometimes the term specifically denotes a superior state or condition and then implies elevated rank in a hierarchy.
Even in uses in which it comes close to the specific aspect of state or the corresponding aspect of condition , status tends to retain some suggestion of a hierarchical relation and correspondingly, of comparison; thus, one might comment “his mental state , or condition , is a cause for concern” as a simple declaration, but “his mental status is unsatisfactory” implies comparison.