sta·​tio·​nery | \ˈstā-shə-ˌner-ē \

Definition of stationery 

1 : materials (such as paper, pens, and ink) for writing or typing

2 : letter paper usually accompanied with matching envelopes

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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 stationery in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

This book and stationery store housed in the mouth-watering Asian grocery Uwajimaya is a wonderland of colors and joy. The Seattle Times, "Secret Seattle: 10 hidden neighborhood hangouts," 15 Oct. 2018 The wedding stationery was a collaboration between Jennifer El-Hage, a graphic designer and Monika’s childhood friend, and Tarek's artist sister Yasmeen Farah. Tamara Abraham, Harper's BAZAAR, "This Wedding Is Part Royal Wedding and Part French Riviera Fairytale," 23 July 2018 The packing list, written on White House stationery, was addressed to the first lady’s personal assistant, Providencia Paredes. Megan Friedman, Town & Country, "Jackie Kennedy’s Never-Before-Seen Packing List Reveals Heartbreaking Details of Her Final Trip with JFK," 9 July 2018 Say ‘no thank you’ when offered business swag like pens, stationery, and toys. Mandy Ferreira, Good Housekeeping, "17 Ways To Produce Less Trash And Save Money—According To Zero Wasters," 12 July 2017 Congress emerged as a likely compromise because of its prominent downtown location and the fact there are few businesses on the street that will need to pay to change their stationery and advertisements. John Byrne,, "Aldermen's proposal would honor Ida B. Wells by renaming Congress Parkway, not Balbo Drive," 26 June 2018 Rarely more than two sentences and nothing fancy – no engraved Crane’s stationery for him. NBC News, "Tim Russert: Loss and lessons a decade later," 13 June 2018 Her father, George, was a civil servant, and her mother, Elsie (Noble) Clarke, was a store manager who promoted its stationery by running workshops for women on how to make crepe paper flowers. Richard Sandomir, New York Times, "Doreen Simmons, Unlikely Voice of Sumo Wrestling, Dies at 85," 13 May 2018 All that takes is putting down a series of lies on blank deed forms easily obtained online or at stationery stores. Craig R. Mccoy,, "A Philadelphia story: Falsely declared dead, home stolen and no one will help," 29 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stationery.' 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 stationery

1727, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for stationery


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Last Updated

19 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for stationery

The first known use of stationery was in 1727

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English Language Learners Definition of stationery

: materials (such as paper, pens, and ink) that are used for writing or typing

: paper that is used for writing letters and that usually has matching envelopes


sta·​tion·​ery | \ˈstā-shə-ˌner-ē \

Kids Definition of stationery

: writing paper and envelopes

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Comments on stationery

What made you want to look up stationery? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


by force of circumstances

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