sta·​tion·​ary | \ ˈstā-shə-ˌner-ē How to pronounce stationary (audio) \

Definition of stationary

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for stationary



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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 Toymaker Fisher-Price launched a $150 stationary bike for kids in 2007 and updated it in 2017. Matt Mcfarland, CNN, 22 Nov. 2021 He was taken to the blue medical tent and rode the stationary bike before being announced as questionable to return. Dan Labbe, cleveland, 21 Nov. 2021 Sales of the Peloton’s stationary bike fell by 17% as pandemic lockdowns lifted last quarter, while its revenue grew by a lower-than-anticipated 6% to $805 million. Courtney Vinopal, Quartz, 5 Nov. 2021 In the open portion of practice Griffin participated in a few early drills before taking to the stationary bike on the sideline. Alexa Philippou,, 12 Nov. 2021 Not to worry, Marc Gasol will still be available, more stationary than ever. Los Angeles Times, 5 June 2021 Zeta is nearly stationary, but a slow northwestward motion is expected later in the day. Kyle Whitfield,, 25 Oct. 2020 All of our players were just stationary for quite a bit. Destine Gibson, Dallas News, 21 Sep. 2020 The weather in the Gulf could not have been more sedate, with nearly stationary winds and calm seas. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 2 Aug. 2020

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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Time Traveler for stationary

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near stationary



stationary air

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Statistics for stationary

Last Updated

28 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Stationary.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Nov. 2021.

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More Definitions for stationary



English Language Learners Definition of stationary

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


sta·​tion·​ary | \ ˈstā-shə-ˌner-ē How to pronounce stationary (audio) \

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.


sta·​tion·​ary | \ ˈstā-shə-ˌner-ē How to pronounce stationary (audio) \

Medical Definition of stationary

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

Nglish: Translation of stationary for Spanish Speakers


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