stationary

adjective
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

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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

Several days of rain are expected across the Southeast and Gulf Coast as a somewhat stationary boundary lingers across the region. Leigh Morgan, al.com, "Chances increase for a tropical depression to form in the Gulf later this week," 7 July 2019 These stationary simulators are custom-made for Flightdeck. Bradley Zint, latimes.com, "Become a pilot for a day at Anaheim’s Flightdeck Flight Simulation Center," 3 July 2019 But by mid-afternoon, Webber’s stationary craft was somewhat of an oddity on the river, as sailers from Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology coasted about in the distance. Alison Kuznitz, BostonGlobe.com, "Anchored on the Charles, awaiting the big show," 3 July 2019 The weather pattern happens when stationary high pressure system over Greenland and a low pressure system over the North Atlantic contorts the jet stream, cutting off cooler air from northern latitudes from reaching Europe. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "French Village Hits 114.6 Degrees, Setting New National Record," 1 July 2019 All of these will be disabled Monday, and the stationary cameras will be taken down sometime in July. Jen Fifield, azcentral, "Speed cameras will be gone from the West Valley as of Monday, July 1," 30 June 2019 Cold air is used in stationary inflatables typically found flapping outside tax offices and car dealerships. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "DC Fourth of July event will now have a VIP section," 28 June 2019 Cold air is used in stationary inflatables typically found flapping outside tax offices and car dealerships. Peter Hermann, Washington Post, "Trump plans ticketed-access area for VIPs, friends and family at July 4 celebration," 28 June 2019 The fake force allows a rotating reference frame to act like a stationary one. Rhett Allain, WIRED, "Physics Tricks to Make Steph Curry's Golf Show More Extreme," 25 June 2019

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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Statistics for stationary

Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 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.

stationary

adjective
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

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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

Comments on stationary

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