Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The existing condition or state of affairs.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The state of things; the way things are, as opposed to the way they could be; the existing state of affairs.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the existing state of affairs

Etymologies

Latin status quō, state in which : status, state + quō, in which, ablative of quī, which.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin status ("state") (sometimes used in the ablative "statu") + quō ("in which"), the ablative of quī ("which"). From the Latin in statu quō ante bellum erat ("the way it was before the war"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Unfortunately, our half-breed status upset the status quo with Father's relatives.

    Changeling

  • When the Howard Government challenged the status quo in East Timor, there was no support from the Labor leadership or even constructive criticism.

    Foreign Minister: The Earle Page College's Annual Politics Dinner

  • Working with Berger and Talbott, both of whom shared Lakes view that the status quo in Haiti was unacceptable and force would have to be part of any solution, Lake pushed the military option forwardeven though Clinton and Christopher remained doubtful and the Pentagon was strongly opposed.

    In the Shadow of the Oval Office

  • Steve Greenberg, an authority on the diffusion of music in America, reasons that rap, because of its underclass origins, appealed to middle-and upper-class youths who wished to rebel against the status quo establishment of their parents and society.

    Diffusion of Innovations

  • Chin's Catastrophe, as it came to be known, forced Weave tacticians to abandon an optimistic status quo in favor of a policy of anxious defense.

    The False Mirror

  • As for the Continentals, everyone knew they were too lazy to disturb the status quo — especially in an alliance with those pathetic losers from Didion.

    Conqueror's Moon

  • The majority of modern bibilical scholars agree that John the Baptist was a prominent political leader, whose religious message somehow threatened to destabilize the status quo of Palestine at that time—and it has long been recognized that Jesus was a similar figure.

    The Templar Revelation

  • There was considerably less consensus on how to go about this, with opinions ranging from the immediate suspension of all thimerosal-containing childhood vaccines to maintaining the status quo while quietly phasing in thimerosal-free vaccines in the months and years to come.

    The Panic Virus

  • Fervently though Royal Navy officers might yearn for a new Trafalgar, the naval status quo in May 1916 was acceptable to Great Britain; sea supremacy permitted the Allies exclusive use of the ocean highways while the blockade of Germany continued its corrosive work.

    Castles of Steel

  • A vote for the moderates would endorse the status quo embodied in “their ancient happy Constitution”; a vote for the Independents would hasten the break with England and deal a blow to those at home who had “grown rich from nothing at all and engross every thing” to themselves.

    Robert Morris

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  • The existing condition or state of affairs

    August 28, 2013

  • The existing state of affairs

    November 20, 2007