Dictionary.com

stationary

[ stey-shuh-ner-ee ]
/ ˈsteɪ ʃəˌnɛr i /
Save This Word!

adjective
standing still; not moving.
having a fixed position; not movable.
established in one place; not itinerant or migratory.
remaining in the same condition or state; not changing: The market price has remained stationary for a week.
noun, plural sta·tion·ar·ies.
a person or thing that is stationary.
QUIZ
ARE YOU A TRUE BLUE CHAMPION OF THESE "BLUE" SYNONYMS?
We could talk until we're blue in the face about this quiz on words for the color "blue," but we think you should take the quiz and find out if you're a whiz at these colorful terms.
Question 1 of 8
Which of the following words describes “sky blue”?
Meet Grammar CoachWrite or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing
Meet Grammar CoachImprove Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Origin of stationary

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English word from Latin word statiōnārius.See station, -ary

OTHER WORDS FROM stationary

non·sta·tion·ar·y, adjective, noun, plural non·sta·tion·ar·ies.qua·si-sta·tion·ar·y, adjectiveun·sta·tion·ar·y, adjective

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH stationary

stationary , stationery
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

STATIONARY VS. STATIONERY

What’s the difference between stationary and stationery?

Stationary with an a is typically used as an adjective that means standing still, fixed in place, or not moving, as in a stationary bike or Face the camera and try to remain stationary. Stationery with an e is a noun that refers to paper for writing or writing materials. It most commonly refers to nice paper for writing, such as fancy notecards or special monogrammed paper for writing letters—you normally wouldn’t call just any old paper stationery.

The two words mean completely different things, so the trick is remembering which spelling to use for each.

Try this: think of the a in stationary as standing for anchor, which keeps it fixed in place. Think of the e in stationery as standing for envelope.

Here’s an example of stationary and stationery used correctly in a sentence.

Example: If you think about it, paperweights were invented to keep stationery stationary.

Want to learn more? Read the full breakdown of the difference between stationary and stationery.

Quiz yourself on stationary vs. stationery!

Should stationary or stationery be used in the following sentence?

I love writing letters on hotel _____.

How to use stationary in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for stationary

stationary
/ (ˈsteɪʃənərɪ) /

adjective
not moving; standing still
not able to be moved
showing no changethe doctors said his condition was stationary
tending to remain in one place

Derived forms of stationary

stationarily, adverbstationariness, noun

Word Origin for stationary

C15: from Latin statiōnārius, from statiō station

undefined stationary

Avoid confusion with stationery
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
FEEDBACK