adjective sta·tion·ary \ ˈstā-shə-ˌner-ē \
|Updated on: 8 Aug 2018

Definition of stationary

1 : fixed in a station, course, or mode : immobile
2 : unchanging in condition
  • a stationary population

Examples of stationary in a Sentence

  1. Einstein imagined a beam of light piercing the elevator. If the elevator were rising relative to the source of light, the beam would enter at a certain height on one side of the elevator and appear to curve on its way to a lower height on the opposite wall. Einstein then imagined that the elevator were stationary on the surface of the earth. Since he postulated that the two circumstances are the same, Einstein concluded that the same effect would have to hold true for both. In other words, gravity must bend light. SmithsonianJune 2005
  2. By pushing the keys with the side of his fist and pushing foot pedals, the player transfers mechanical force to clappers, which strike the stationary bells, which are tuned to specific notes. —Douglas MartinNew York Times19 Oct. 2003
  3. And while atomic reactors and chemical storage facilities are the sort of stationary targets that invite bombing, bioweapons laboratory materials are small enough to be put in a truck and moved to another location. —Gregg EasterbrookNew Republic25 Feb. 2002
  4. The weather front has remained stationary over the Southeast.

  5. a stationary bicycle is good for exercise, but you won't enjoy the scenery very much

Recent Examples of stationary from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stationary.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

stationary or stationery?

The Internet is awash with mnemonics (“something (such as a word, a sentence, or a song) that helps people remember something“) designed to assist those who have trouble distinguishing between two similar words. A fair share of these turn out to be for the words stationery and stationary. The most commonly suggested method is to remember that you buy papER at a stationERy store. If this trick does not work for you, then perhaps it will help to remember that a stationery store is one that is run by a stationer. This word was originally applied to a bookseller, but by the middle of the 17th century it began to be used for a person who sells papers, pens, and office goods.

Origin and Etymology of stationary

STATIONARY Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of stationary for English Language Learners

  • : not moving : staying in one place or position

  • : not changing

STATIONARY Defined for Kids


adjective sta·tion·ary \ ˈstā-shə-ˌner-ē \

Definition of stationary for Students

1 : having been set in a certain place or post : immobile
  • a stationary bike
2 : not changing : stable
  • Their weekly income remained stationary.

Medical Dictionary


adjective sta·tion·ary \ ˈstā-shə-ˌner-ē \

medical Definition of stationary

1 : fixed in position : not moving
2 : characterized by a lack of change
  • the patient's condition remained stationary

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excessive admiration or flattery

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