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The United States has decided to impose three new conditions for removing North Korea from Washington's list of state sponsors of terrorism, a Japanese newspaper reported on Saturday.

I don't exactly understand the phrase list of state sponsors of terrorism. It would have been okay for me if it were list of state sponsoring terrorism or list of state involved in sponsoring terrorism. Please help me to understand that phrase. Is state sponsors used as a compound noun?
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Hi Jackson

The word 'state' is similar in meaning to 'governmental' in the context. It is used as an adjective (i.e. it modifies 'sponsors'). If I were to reword the phrase, I might say this:
list of countries/governments that sponsor terrorism

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Thank you, Amy.
YankeeThe word 'state' is similar in meaning to 'governmental' in the context. It is used as an adjective (i.e. it modifies 'sponsors'). If I were to reword the phrase, I might say this:
list of countries/governments that sponsor terrorism

Hi Amy,

I agree with you. But M-W doesn't list ''state '' as an adjective. Is it an example of the use where noun functions as an adjective? If it is, then why doesn't a dictionary list it as an adjective or have some definition which suggests that it can used as an adjective in some contexts?