Like any VCS, CVS is able to show the status of the current directory when compared with the repository from which it is checked out.
However, unlike SVN, GIT, or bzr, which by default show only a rather compact set of information, CVS provides already verbose information, with only an option to add even more, and no terse mode.
Luckily, piping its output through a few commands allows one to obtain such a compact
cvs status display. I tend to use this, aliased to
alias cvsst="cvs st | grep -vE 'revision|Sticky|^$|==|Commit' | sed -r 's/^File: |Status: //g'"