stationary

adjective

sta·​tion·​ary ˈstā-shə-ˌner-ē How to pronounce stationary (audio)
1
: fixed in a station, course, or mode : immobile
2
: unchanging in condition
a stationary population

Did you know?

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.

Examples of stationary in a Sentence

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. Smithsonian, June 2005
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 Martin, New York Times, 19 Oct. 2003
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 Easterbrook, New Republic, 25 Feb. 2002
The weather front has remained stationary over the Southeast. a stationary bicycle is good for exercise, but you won't enjoy the scenery very much
Recent Examples on the Web Great for beginners, this drone has adjustable speed modes, altitude hold (stationary hovering), and an easy one-touch start and landing button that keeps teens in control while operating. Patrice J. Williams, Parents, 12 July 2024 Here’s a stationary desk chair courtesy of the lifestyle queen herself, Martha Stewart. Erika Owen, Architectural Digest, 11 July 2024 The penalty is the largest ever for Clean Air Act violations at stationary sources, which include oil refineries, power plants and factories, according to the EPA. Maxine Joselow, Washington Post, 11 July 2024 Moreover, Tesla deployed more than twice as many stationary commercial batteries over the first quarter, so its contribution could mean an extra $400 million in quarterly gross profit. Luba Kassova, Fortune, 5 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for stationary 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'stationary.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

see station entry 1

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of stationary was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near stationary

Cite this Entry

“Stationary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stationary. Accessed 25 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

stationary

adjective
sta·​tion·​ary ˈstā-shə-ˌner-ē How to pronounce stationary (audio)
1
: fixed in a station, course, or position : immobile
a stationary loudspeaker
2
: unchanging in condition
a stationary population

Medical Definition

stationary

adjective
sta·​tion·​ary ˈstā-shə-ˌner-ē How to pronounce stationary (audio)
1
: fixed in position : not moving
2
: characterized by a lack of change
the patient's condition remained stationary

More from Merriam-Webster on stationary

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