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stationery

[ stey-shuh-ner-ee ]
/ ˈsteɪ ʃəˌnɛr i /
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noun
writing paper.
writing materials, as pens, pencils, paper, and envelopes.
QUIZ
WILL YOU SAIL OR STUMBLE ON THESE GRAMMAR QUESTIONS?
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Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.

Origin of stationery

First recorded in 1670–80; stationer + -y3

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH stationery

stationary, stationery
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

STATIONERY VS. STATIONARY

What’s the difference between stationery and 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. 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.

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

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

Here’s an example of stationery and stationary 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 stationery and stationary.

Quiz yourself on stationery vs. stationary!

Should stationery or stationary be used in the following sentence?

I love writing letters on hotel _____.

How to use stationery in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for stationery

stationery
/ (ˈsteɪʃənərɪ) /

noun
any writing materials, such as paper, envelopes, pens, ink, rulers, etc

undefined stationery

Avoid confusion with stationary
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
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