According to different dictionaries, state and status have different meanings.

However, is there any case they could have the same meaning? For example:

  1. The state of the situation is not clear

  2. The status of the situation is not clear

  • Welcome to the ELU Stack Exchange Hattan! Go ahead and include the research you've already done, like providing the relevant definitions you've found. And here is the tour for the site. – Unrelated Jul 25 '18 at 17:39

They are similar - both talk about the situation, but to my ear, status is more 'meta' than state.

state noun 1 The particular condition that someone or something is in at a specific time. ‘the state of the company's finances’ - ODO

status noun 2 The situation at a particular time during a process. ‘an update on the status of the bill’ - ODO

In both cases, the state/status is a condition of sorts, and there can be considerable semantic overlap. However, consider swapping the terms in the examples: status of the company's finances and state of the bill. Let's work this through by looking at a few quotes, using finances as the point of comparison.

State tends to refer to the finances on its own merits while status tends to relate to a classification of the finances for some external purpose.

if my view of the state of the Company's finances be correct, the whole or the greater part of the other items must have been furnished from the territorial revenues. - Reports from the Select Committee[s] of the House of Commons ..., Volume 1

Factory owners ... spent more than $100,000 restoring their financial status. - ABC News

Spending money would worsen the state of finances (its financial worth). However, if it costs money to, say, properly audit the financials so that the ratings authorities would grant a better classification (e.g. AA instead of BB), then spending money could be said to improve someone's financial status.

Here are some examples of questions and answers to illustrate the position I'm articulating:

  • What is the state of the company's finances? They are in good shape.
  • What is the status of the company's finances? They have a AAA rating.

In your examples, if the state of the situation is unclear, it is the situation itself that is uncertain; if the status of the situation is unclear, the situation might be very well understood, but its assigned rank is unclear.

Nevertheless, to your specific question about whether it is possible for the state and status of something to refer to the same thing - yes, it is. For example, a status report reports on the state of a situation.

status report noun A report describing the current situation with regard to a business, project, matter, etc., especially one in a series of such reports summarizing a changing state of affairs. - ODO

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