state of the art

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state of the art (uncountable)

  1. The condition of scientific or technical knowledge, particularly the peak or highest level thereof, at a particular time. [from early 20th c.]
    Synonym: SOTA
    • 1903 August 15, “Supplement, No. 1441”, in Scientific American, page xlii:
      The foregoing may be considered to present perhaps a very gloomy outlook both for the would-be inventor, the actual patentee, or for those having capital invested in a patent, since it is easy to see that it is quite impossible in the ordinary run of cases fully to ascertain beyond peradventure that the state of the art does not somewhere contain an instance of anticipation.
    • 2002, D. G. Carmichael, Disputes and International Projects, page 164:
      which is not only not advancing the state-of-the-art of management but also is believed to be regressing the state-of-the-art.



state of the art (comparative more state of the art, superlative most state of the art)

  1. At the highest level of development at a particular time; cutting-edge.
    state-of-the-art technology
    • 1964, U.S. Government Printing Office, Hearings Before and Special Reports Made by Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives on Subjects Affecting the Naval and Military Establishments, →OCLC, page 7606:
      In other words, what I am saying is that when you plan to put into a future aircraft something that is state of the art you are putting in something as far advanced as present technology will allow and that is very much further advanced than things that are in present aircraft.
    • 1978, [United States] Department of Energy, Preliminary Power Train Design for a State-of-the-art Electric Vehicle[1], page A-29:
      The components considered applicable to the design of a power train for a state-of-the-art electric vehicle are: Induction motor and 3-phase AC controller []
    • 2006, Patrick Blackburn, Johan Bos, Kristina Striegnitz, Learn Prolog Now!, §8.3
      How good are DCGs from a linguistic perspective? Well, mixed. At one stage (in the early 1980s) they were pretty much state of the art. []


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