What does Status Quo mean? The Cambridge Dictionary defines it as “the present situation or condition.” Ultimately, that is what it is. Nevertheless, the phrase is Latin. The literal translation is “the existing state.” Hence, we use it to describe the current situation of something.
Sociologists, politicians, and diplomats use the phrase the most. Through this phrase, they describe what they want to keep or what they want o change. Hence, it holds neither a positive nor negative meaning.
Related to it is “Ante Status Quo,” meaning the situation before. During a war, the borders of a state may move. Then after the war ends, a discussion occurs about what will happen next. “Status Quo Ante Bellum” is a phrase to describe that everything will return to the situation before the war.
For instance, the Munich Agreement of 1938 between Germany, France, Italy, and the UK decided that Germany would take control of the Czechoslovak territory of Sudetenland. However, this territory once again became a part of Czechoslovakia after World War II. ended in 1945. Status Quo Ante Bellum was in tact.
Ronald Reagan described Status Quo as "The Latin for the mess we're in."