stationary

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

Definition of stationary

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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for stationary

Synonyms

immobile, nonmoving, standing, static

Antonyms

mobile, movable (or moveable), moving, nonstationary

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web

The flywheel helps give a sense of motion that doesn’t seem possible for a stationary bike. James Lynch, Popular Mechanics, "PM Approved: Kickr Smart Bike Trainer," 29 Jan. 2019 Saunders said Covington, who hasn’t played since Dec. 31, has been doing more work on the stationary bike. Andres Ybarra, The Seattle Times, "Mitchell scores 29 to lead Jazz past Timberwolves 125-111," 27 Jan. 2019 From there, the forward lunge engages your quads, core, and glutes, and the stationary lunge with the weighted element engages your obliques (the muscles on the sides of your stomach), Zadeh says. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "Hailey Bieber Strengthens Her Core and Lower Half With This One 4-Part Exercise," 4 Jan. 2019 Kundig studied physics at the University of Washington before turning to architecture, and the idea of introducing movement and a spoonful of Rube Goldberg whimsy to stationary objects has always appealed to him. Sarah Medford, WSJ, "Daniel and Estrellita Brodsky Dreamed of a Modern Home in a Pastoral Setting," 11 Dec. 2018 But the shuttle stayed stationary, and my phone was dead, a black rectangular void; the Company’s shuttles were essentially rolling Faraday cages: no wireless service allowed. Verge Staff, The Verge, "Seven scary stories to tell by the light of your screen," 31 Oct. 2018 Why cars keep crashing into stationary objects Hudson's crash occurred on Friday October 12. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Another Tesla with Autopilot crashed into a stationary object—the driver is suing," 30 Oct. 2018 Hobos would carve or draw their road persona, or moniker, on stationary objects near railroad tracks, like water towers and bridges. Coleman Lowndes, Vox, "The (mostly) true story of hobo graffiti," 17 July 2018 While Venus flytraps and Mimosa pudicas have rapidly moving leaves, plants themselves tend to stay stationary. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The Plant That Became a Six-Legged Robot To Chase the Sun," 12 July 2018

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.

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First Known Use of stationary

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for stationary

see station entry 1

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Last Updated

7 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for stationary

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

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More Definitions for stationary

stationary

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of stationary

: not moving : staying in one place or position
: not changing

stationary

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

Kids Definition of stationary

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

stationary

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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More from Merriam-Webster on stationary

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with stationary

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for stationary

Spanish Central: Translation of stationary

Nglish: Translation of stationary for Spanish Speakers

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