Stationary and Stationery: Meaning, Usage with Examples

Stationary and Stationery: Meaning, Usage with Examples

Welcome here! This post, aptly titled Stationary and Stationery: Meaning, Usage with Examples addresses the distinction between these two homophones beginning with their definitions. These words are homophones. Do you know what homophones are? (See the post, Homophones in English) Let us get to it…

Stationary and Stationery: Meaning, Usage with Examples

Many people do not know the difference between these two words which are liable to be confused. You should not confuse the spelling of stationary with stationery. They sound alike but have completely different meanings.  Let us see what each means.

Stationary Meaning

Stationary, as an adjective, means ‘not moving or standing still, immobile or fixed, unchanging or static as in:

  • There were stationary vehicles on the road.
  • The car remained stationary with the engine running.
  • Some countries have stationary population.
  • The machinery installed in the factory are stationary.

Stationery Meaning

Stationery, as a noun, refers to ‘materials (as paper, pen, ink, etc.) for writing or typing’ including envelopes, as in:

  • We bought some office stationery.
  • The office has run out of stationery.
  • They have received the monthly supply of stationery.
  • The principal pulled out a piece of stationery and wrote a memo to the teachers.
  • He bought some flowery stationery and wrote his wife an endearing letter.

Stationary or Stationery

It depends on what you mean to say or the context from which you talking. There is nothing wrong with the two words. The common problem that arises for users of the words is that of spelling.

Difference between Stationary and Stationery

Just remember that when it has to do with material commonly used in the office, you are referring to stationery with an ‘e’; but when it has to do with what is immobile and not moving, you are talking about stationary with an ‘a’. Make sure you do not forget this distinction.

An easy way to differentiate between them is to remember that stationery is bought from a ‘stationer’ and it has the letter ‘e’ while stationary is not what you can buy and it has the letter ‘a’.

In addition, stationary is an adjective meaning ‘not moving’ which we normally use in reference to vehicles; however stationery is a noun meaning ‘paper and other things we use for writing, alongside envelopes, which might help you in remembering the letter ‘e’.

Stationary Synonym

Here, we are referring to another word for stationary. Of course, there are more than one word that are synonymous to stationary. I am sure you don’t mind some synonyms for this word. They include but not limited to the following:

  • Motionless
  • Still
  • Immobile
  • Inactive
  • Fixed
  • Standing
  • At a halt
  • Static
  • Inert
  • At a stop
  • At a standstill
  • Unmoving
  • Stagnant
  • Stock-still
  • Frozen
  • Quiet
  • Steady
  • Permanent
  • Secure
  • Set
  • At rest
  • Rigid
  • Rooted
  • Sitting
  • Becalmed, and others…

Stationary in a Sentence

Let me provide more sentences where the word stationary occurs for clearer understanding of its usage…

  • The car ran into a stationary
  • The doctors said his condition was stationary.
  • The heavy traffic made us stationary for hours on end.
  • Their movement became slower and slower until it was stationary.
  • School buses must be stationary before kids on them disembark and run off to their classes.
  • Inflation rate in Nigeria has never been stationary.
  • In a war situation, stationary trucks are easy targets for enemy planes.
  • Stars usually appear stationary because they are so far away.
  • A heavy overcast like a cumulonimbus cloud was stationary over the city, preventing sunlight.
  • She was trained to shoot at both stationary and moving targets.
  • The little boy rode a stationary bicycle unassisted.
  • The refugees spent long hours in stationary buses along the borders of the warring nations.
  • In an attempt to escape from the police officers the thief meandered through stationary traffic on a motorbike.
  • Of all vertebrates, snakes are among the most stationary.
  • The peasants keep small stationary.

More Sentences with the Word Stationary

  • Due to large scale epidemics, population was virtually stationary for many years.
  • The stationary wave system regulates itself so that its motion agrees with that of the sounder.
  • For the chiropractor to do his job, nurses advised Ahmad to lie in a stationary position.
  • In the country imports and exports are almost equally stationary.
  • It is almost impossible for plants to seek their food because of their stationary
  • We can move the camper by a small vehicle because it is not stationary.
  • Keep the rope stationary and use it for balance during the exercise.
  • During storms, many motorists drive into stationary vehicles parked along the roadside.
  • The travellers were worried that they have been stuck in stationary traffic for days now.
  • Road construction workers usually have preference for living in trailers because they are not stationary.

Concluding Statements

In a nutshell, we have examined the two words that users can easily confuse: stationary and stationery. Remember the definitions of these words and the cues we gave in recognising the difference between these two words. There are other similar words that require clarifications and some others that users have the likelihood to confuse.

I have put together different posts on such words. Ensure you check them out. These include: further and farther, several and severally, elder and older, ok and okay, efficiency and effectiveness, surpass or supersede, ingenious or ingenuous, rout vs route, affect or effect, belief or believe, academia and academic, and many others.

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