Posted by R. Berg on February 12, 2003
In Reply to: Lying in State posted by S. on February 12, 2003
: My thanks in advance for any information as to the etymology and meaning of the "in state" part of "lying in state".
The Oxford Engl. Dict. has just a little about this:
"'In state': with great pomp and solemnity; with a great train; with splendid or honorific trappings and insignia. 'To lie in state': of a dead body, to be ceremoniously exposed to view before interment."
The OED defines one sense of "state" as "costly and imposing display, such as befits persons of rank and wealth; splendour, magnificence . . . " Apparently "lie in state" is connected with that sense.