1. Law. With a capital ‘S’. The prosecuting body of persons accused of wrong doing in that state. 2. Politics. With a lower case’s’. The area geographically within defined territorial boundaries with a set of political institutions and rules by a government through conformance laws.
TLD Example: Students taking political science for the first time have difficulty understanding how both New York and Canada can be referred to as a state; however, they soon realize the distinction between a state that is a part of a commonwealth and a nation state.