sta·​tio·​nery | \ ˈstā-shə-ˌner-ē How to pronounce stationery (audio) \

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 The family business started when Aniela Jablkowska began selling stationery from a chest of drawers in 1884. Star Tribune, 11 July 2021 In subtle ways that weren’t in the script, Buess said the props department was able to show through stationery and printing both Jack and Louise’s personalities and their growing affection and trust. San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 June 2021 Sandra Boch, an Australian mother of two who moved to Hong Kong 15 years ago to set up a specialty fabrics and stationery business, left in January. John Lyons, WSJ, 6 June 2021 One urban square alone has more than a dozen: the local hardware store, a photo studio, the stationery shop that also sold kites. New York Times, 4 June 2021 That was back when hotels still gave you stationery. Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, 9 May 2021 The company produces high-end stationery and envelope and announcement products and is in its fifth generation of ownership. Dave Kallmann, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 30 June 2021 The store also has cards, coasters, calendars and stationery available for purchase. Elizabeth Montgomery, The Arizona Republic, 4 June 2021 In 1433, Vespasiano got his first job at a cartolaio selling stationery and books about halfway between the apse of the Duomo and the banks of the Arno, on what was then Via dei Librai. Cory Oldweiler, Star Tribune, 9 Apr. 2021

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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Learn More About stationery

Time Traveler for stationery

Time Traveler

The first known use of stationery was in 1727

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Dictionary Entries Near stationery

station error


station hospital

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Statistics for stationery

Last Updated

24 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Stationery.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for stationery



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 How to pronounce stationery (audio) \

Kids Definition of stationery

: writing paper and envelopes

More from Merriam-Webster on stationery

Nglish: Translation of stationery for Spanish Speakers


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