Definition of stationary in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈstāSHəˌnerē/


1Not moving or not intended to be moved: a car collided with a stationary vehicle
More example sentences
  • The line of sight stabilisation in elevation and azimuth provides high hit probability for stationary and on the move engagements against stationary and moving targets.
  • The weapon system is stabilised in two axes, which allows the vehicle to engage targets stationary or on the move.
  • The course mostly dealt with giving and taking commands, as well as keeping in formation, and obviously shooting moving and stationary targets.
static, parked, stopped, motionless, immobile, unmoving, still, stock-still, at a standstill, at rest;
not moving a muscle, like a statue, rooted to the spot, frozen, inactive, inert, lifeless, inanimate
1.1 Astronomy (Of a planet) having no apparent motion in longitude.
Example sentences
  • If the planet were stationary, the slow-down effect would be equal to the initial acceleration, so there would be no net gain in speed.
  • After being retrograde since July, the planet appears stationary on the 30th and thereafter returns to normal west to east motion.
  • Polaris, the North Star, appears stationary in the sky because it is positioned close to the line of Earth's axis projected into space.
1.2Not changing in quantity or condition: a stationary population
More example sentences
  • ‘In India the problem is more the standing / stationary condition of the temple elephants,’ says Chiran.
  • When it was assumed that these mutations were neutral, their frequency was higher under shaken than under stationary conditions, possibly due to oxygen stress.
  • When the solution is placed as a thin film under stationary conditions, concentric or spiral wave patterns develop in the solution.


The words stationary and stationery are often confused. Stationary is an adjective that means ‘not moving or not intended to be moved,’ as in his car collided with a stationary vehicle, whereas stationery is a noun that means ‘writing and other office materials,’ as in I wrote to my father on the hotel stationery.


Late Middle English: from Latin stationarius (originally in the sense 'belonging to a military station'), from station- 'standing' (see station).

Words that rhyme with stationary

deflationary, inflationary, probationary, stationery

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: sta·tion·ar·y

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