stat·us (stătəs, stātəs)
1. Position relative to that of others; standing: Her status is that of a guest.
2. High standing; prestige: a position of status in the community.
3. Law The legal character or condition of a person or thing: the status of a minor.
4. The state of affairs; the situation: What is the status of the negotiations? See Synonyms at state.
[Latin; see stā- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
Usage Note: In our 2016 survey, 85 percent of the Usage Panel preferred the pronunciation (stătəs) and 15 percent preferred (stātəs), although both forms were considered acceptable by large margins. This is a noticeable shift from our 1997 survey, which was the first time the Panelists, by a narrow margin, preferred (stătəs) over (stātəs). The pronunciation (stātəs) is the older pronunciation, and it remains the most common one in British English.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.