Status quo

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The Latin loan phrase status quo, meaning literally the state in which, is used in English to mean the existing condition or state of affairs. The phrase usually serves as a noun, but it can also function as a phrasal adjective preceding a noun.

Status in quo is a longer, unnecessary variant of status quo, and status quo ante, mostly used in legal contexts, means the state of affairs at a previous time.

Because status quo means current state of affairs, the phrase current status quo is often redundant (with exceptions where a current state of affairs is being compared to a past one).


Our team is notorious for sticking with the status quo and not making waves. [Stampede Blue]

Gay rights advocates had lambasted the president for effectively supporting the status quo by compelling the Justice Department to defend the Defense of Marriage Act. [New York Observer]

A judge upholding the status quo is not as newsworthy as a judge radically altering it. [Washington Post]

Indeed, both the meaningful education reform and the status quo camps would probably agree, the national mood for the former has never been more on their side. [CNN International]