a woman who sat in state under a white plum tree

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Couch Tomato

Senior Member
Russian & Dutch
Gatsby indicated a gorgeous, scarcely human orchid of a woman who sat in state under a white plum tree.
(The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald)

What does sat in state mean? Is sat in state a variation on lie in state but without her being dead?
 
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    'State' can mean "ceremonial splendour" in various expressions, most commonly 'lie in state', 'state occasion', and the 'state opening' of Parliament. Other things can also be done 'in state', such as sitting here, or when the Queen drives in state to Parliament.
     
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