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1670s, "height," later "legal standing of a person" (1791), from Latin status "condition, position, state, manner, attitude," from stare "to stand," from PIE root *sta- "to stand" (see stet). Sense of "social or professional standing" is from 1820. Status symbol first recorded 1955.
status sta·tus (stā'təs, stāt'əs)
A state or condition.
The relative position of an individual within a group, or of a group within a society.
Note: Though the term can refer to either high or low standing, it is often used only to imply a position of prestige.